This month the London Mayor announced a victim and witness support overhaul, with £15 million earmarked to create the largest dedicated service for victims and witnesses of crime, starting in April of this year.
According to research carried out by City Hall, victims reported being passed around different agencies and teams, sometimes having to repeat their ordeal several times to different people and left without support. As a result the charity Victim Support has commissioned to take over the service.
London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said: “Being a victim or witness to a crime is absolutely devastating- and it’s simply not good enough that some of them are not getting access to the right support, or are having to relive their trauma over and over again.
Diana Fawcett, Victim Support’s chief officer, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the new contract which will allow our dedicated team of specially trained staff and volunteers to continue to provide independent support to victims and witnesses of crime across London.
“With our wealth of experience and knowledge, we will provide practical help and emotional support, whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.
“This new contract will allow us to provide an integrated service for victims and witnesses of crime, including those affected by domestic abuse, as well as offer restorative justice and support for those going to court. This will ensure victims and witnesses receive a seamless journey through the criminal justice system.”