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Cash for victim support

Friday 27th March 2015

KENT’S Police and Crime Commissioner has awarded a grant of £829,000 to deliver victim services in Kent to Victim Support, a charity with 40 years of experience.

The grant was agreed between Kent police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes and chief executive of Victim Support, Mark Castle.

Mrs Barnes said: "This grant is a major leap forward in our vision to see a support service in Kent that is tailored to meet the needs of victims of crime in Kent rather than a national, one size fits all service.

"This locally-focused service is a very exciting development and is enabling us to build upon the existing excellent quality of service provided by Victim Support so that more people can benefit and, most importantly, individual needs are  met."

 The grant has come from money devolved to police and crime commissioners by the Ministry of Justice and is not coming out of the policing budget for Kent.

As from April, the support service will be extended to include victims of a greater range of crime types than in the present national contract, for example high volume crime such as theft of and from cars and criminal damage.

It is estimated that the service will be able to support an additional 14,000 people, with a total of about 53,000 victims of crime receiving help each year.

 Kultar Nayyar, victim support divisional manager for Kent, said:  ‘This new grant gives us the opportunity to provide a more enhanced service to victims and to reach out to many more victims than we have been able to in the past.

“We know from helping thousands of victims and witnesses across Kent every year how often people affected by crime need help to move on and this new service will give them the practical and emotional support they need.”

The award of the grant is part of a wider programme being developed by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner to establish better co-ordination of services. This includes bringing together Victim Support and the Kent Police Witness Care Unit into one building in Ashford.  Contractors are on site (a separate annex to Ashford police station) with work expected to be completed by February 2015 and the building will have training facilities, public access counselling rooms and video suites suitable for linking to courts.”

 The Kent police and crime commissioner has also taken on the responsibility from the Ministry of Justice for commissioning specialist support services across Kent such as help for those who have experienced hate crime and for children who have suffered sexual abuse.