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Plans Unveiled for New Victims Hub

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent has revealed his plans for a new Victims Hub which will enhance the quality of support and contact with victims of crime in Gwent.

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston revealed today that planning for his Victims Hub for Gwent is well underway and is scheduled for official launch in 2015. The new victims care service will bring together a range of agencies and organisations to provide enhanced support and enable the Police Force to work more effectively and efficiently with victims of crime. 

The aim of the hub is to ensure victims are supported inside and outside the criminal justice process and receive the information and guidance they need to cope with their victimisation. Initially, the aim is to provide support to the needs of a victim in the immediate aftermath of a crime and to reduce the long term impact on future emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of victims. It’s envisaged that support will be based on the needs of each individual with specialist interventions on hand to cater for a broad range of victims.

The hub will support victims to attend court and ensure they receive the vital information they need. The new model will use feedback from victims to influence policy makers and justice agencies. It will also listen to the voices and needs of victims in shaping and developing the evolving service.

The hub is funded through the Ministry of Justice Victims Services grant which is awarded to PCC Ian Johnston so he can provide enhanced victim related services in Gwent. The majority of support services for victims which were traditionally provided by the Ministry of Justice are now provided at a local level by PCCs.

Construction and renovation work on the new home for the hub is expected to get underway in January. The PCC is also currently looking for a Victims Hub Coordinator, with experience of working within the criminal justice system, which will lead on the development of this new service.

Highlighting the importance of the Hub, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: “I’m really excited about the potential positive difference this new service will have on the lives of victims in Gwent. It’s all about putting the victim first and improving the way services are delivered to them which is at the heart of everything we do. It’s vital that we improve victim satisfaction and the quality of victim contact. This new hub is a big step in that direction and will add value to the fantastic multi-agency partnership work which is already proving fruitful across local policing units in Gwent.”

Gwent Police Assistant Chief Constable, Lorraine Bottomley, added: “I look forward to welcoming the Victim’s Hub and seeing the difference it will make to victims of crime in Gwent – from the time they report a crime and throughout the criminal justice process. Supporting victims of crime is our priority so anything that can be done at a very local level to make their experience easier and for them to receive more co-ordinated help and support is a very positive development”.