New advice line for victims is ‘best practice’ for rest of UK forces

Support service allows those affected by crime to 'move on with their lives with greater confidence'

A new support service for crime victims is being seen as a “best practice” flagship for the rest of forces in England and Wales.

Today’s launch of a website and online chat function aims to recognise the needs of victims are “different”.

West Mercia’s Victim Advice Line is geared to “greater ownership of the journey” by allowing them to shape it themselves.

And, significantly, those victims that need someone to talk to also don’t have to have reported the crime to the police.

The new free and confidential service plus bespoke care package is part of police and crime commissioner John Campion’s commitment to ensuring victims of crime receive an “improved and more consistent” service – based on a model already adopted by other forces.

Mr Campion said: “This new service marks the beginning of big changes to the way victims are supported.

“By working with an individual and making sure they are getting the level of support they need, and deserve, we’re sure to see those affected by crime moving on with their life with greater confidence.

“This new service also allows better multi-agency working, such as with the police and other support services, which will ensure those affected by crime will have someone with them every step of their journey.”

West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable, Martin Evans, said: “We are truly committed to providing the best possible service for victims and survivors.

“We strive to always put victims at the heart of everything we do and the support that the Victim Advice Line will provide alongside us will be invaluable.

“Every member of our force is dedicated to ensuring we are always victim-focussed, and the VAL is a perfect reflection of our values and commitment.”