THE new Victim Advice Line (VAL) is set to go live in the West Mercia Police force area in one month’s time.
The aim is to offer those needing support a free and confidential service backed by a care package bespoke to them.
As opposed to being labelled by a type of crime and having a ‘one size fits all’ support package, the concept of VAL is to work with the victim and allow them to have greater ownership of their journey by allowing them to shape it themselves.
In addition those that need someone to talk to also don’t have to have reported the crime to the police.
This new service is part of Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion’s commitment to ensuring victims of crime receive an improved and more consistent service, and is also a model seen as best practice across the country in delivering support to victims, having already been adopted by other police forces.
“We carried out a consultation with victims to ask them what they wanted from a support service,” said PCC Campion.
“The Victim Advice Line will look at an individual and make sure they’re getting the level of support they need.
“By doing this we hope to give victims greater confidence and satisfaction that will help in moving forward with their life.
“The service will also allow better multi-agency working, such as with the police and other support services, which will ensure victims are supported throughout the entire criminal justice system from the very beginning of their journey through to the end.
“Whilst the VAL will take the initial referral, dependent on the type of crime and level and length of support required, they may then be referred to specialist providers such as Victim Support, Axis, West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre or Women’s Aid.”