Thursday, 10 May 2012

Victim Support - the Local Dimension

Today, I was briefed by Victim Support on the local dimension in our community. Victim Support assess those who are the victims of crime, identifying a need for support in around a third of all cases (in the South East). They are backed up by community-based volunteers, who can help with emotional counselling, practical support (like fixing a broken window) through to processing a formal claim for criminal injuries compensation. They also support witnesses going through the court process.

So what does that mean locally in Elmbridge? Perhaps surprisingly, I was briefed that we have a relatively high number of violent crimes leading to referrals. There were 21 referrals (family support) for homicide in 2011, 550 for assault and wounding, and 399 for harassment (often either domestic violence or public disorder).

The budget for victim support will be devolved to the Surrey policing and crime commissioner (due to be elected in November). As a result, there will be direct local accountability for the running of those services from the people and communities affected.


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