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Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner announces plans to strengthen victim services across the North East

4th December 2020

Changes that will join up and enhance the delivery of victim support services across Northumbria have today been unveiled by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness.
Following on from her commitment to putting victims at the heart of policing, the PCC is planning to move the services and staff of current provider Victims First Northumbria to Northumbria Police.
The move comes after the Commissioner requested an independent review of local victims’ support to see how the needs of victims and witnesses are being met.
The findings of the review have informed the decision which will help ensure the best possible support is reaching those who have been a target of all types of crime.
PCC McGuinness believes this change will help overcome some of the barriers Victims First Northumbria has faced in supporting victims, while ensuring the dedicated support victims get from the hardworking Victims First team continues.
Thanking the team at Victims First for their dedicated work, Kim McGuinness, said: “This is a really positive step for all involved, building on the good work already done and giving victims of crime an even better service.
“We absolutely have to put victims first and make sure we are doing things right by them. This move is about stream-lining the whole process, making things simpler and doing everything we can to ensure that all victims receive the help they need.”
She added: “Everyone involved in the criminal justice system wants the best for victims and I’m thankful to everyone who has contributed to this review. I’m confident that by making these changes, based on the valuable knowledge and experience of many involved, we can bring about some really positive changes. It’s a real opportunity to build on the great work happening everyday throughout our region and will allow us to help even more victims cope, recover and move forward with their lives.”
Peter Walls, Chair of the Victims First Northumbria Board, said: “Since 2015, Victims First Northumbria has delivered an exceptional independent cope and recovery support service to victims in the aftermath of crime. This is reflected in satisfaction rates of 98% with those
victims we work with commenting that the support given to them by the staff has improved their lives. I look forward to the new arrangements building on this legacy and successfully reaching and supporting even more victims of crime.”
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen welcomed the news, saying: “As a Force, protecting vulnerable victims is absolutely our number one priority.
“The collaboration brought forward by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Victims First Northumbria will further help ensure victims have access to the support they need.”