Campaign launched by the OPCC says victims don’t need to report to get support
Victims are being told they don’t need to report a crime to Wiltshire Police to receive support from commissioned services as part of a new campaign launched by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
The campaign focuses on signposting the broad range of commissioned support services available for victims of all types of crime, including domestic abuse, fraud and sexual violence – especially within identified minority groups where support isn’t as frequently accessed.
Alongside of the funding made available to the police to enforce the law, more than £4.5M is being spent in Wiltshire this year alone to help and support victims, contribute towards community safety, aid in the reduction of serious violence and reduce reoffending. Also 42% of released prisoners are back in prison within one year and we need to break that pernicious cycle.
OPCC’s Commissioned Services, a department within the office, ensures all funding is allocated to organisations and charities which provide the services needed to deliver the PCC’s Making Wiltshire Safer: Police and Crime Plan 2022-25 and the Wiltshire Criminal Justice Board (WCJB) Strategy.
PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “Supporting victims in the time when they are most vulnerable and need help is a core priority for my office and is a clear priority contained within my police and crime plan. We know we cannot eradicate crime completely so we must ensure the service we are funding is delivering for victims when they need it most.
“Data collated from our Victims survey revealed just over 40% of respondents said that they were not given details of support services that help victims of crime when they reported the incident, and over a third of respondents who said they had not reported the crime to the Police were not aware that they could still access support services.
“We are now working with Wiltshire Police, our commissioned service providers, charities, and other key organisations including Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council to effectively deliver this campaign, ensuring we raise awareness of all support services as well as clearly signposting how to access them.”
Temporary Detective Superintendent Guy Elkins, Head of Crime Standards and Justice said: “We are committed to providing the highest levels of service to victims.
“We know that not everyone feels comfortable reporting directly to the police, therefore these commissioned services are vital in providing additional support and guidance.
“We work closely with the OPCC’s office and the support services highlighted in this campaign.
“Anyone who does wish to report any matters to us can do this in person to any of our officers in your community, online or via our non-emergency number 101.”
Victims’ services commissioned and funded by the OPCC include:
Grants to Wiltshire’s Horizon service, which supports victims and provides restorative justice services.
Funding allocated to Splash, which supports children who have been victims of crime.
Funding to provide Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) to help support victims.
Funding to provide refuge and safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Funding allocated to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which supports victims of serious sexual offences without having to have a police referral.