Cash boost aims to help crime victims

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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Young victims of violent or sexual offences will be offered new support services thanks to a £300,000 cash boost.

Some of the grant – given to Victim Support South Yorkshire – will also be used to set up a new Young Witness Service.

The scheme will allow children and young people under 18 to access a free, independent and confidential advice service.

The cash has been made available by South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright.

Mr Wright said: “When I was elected commissioner I said that one of my key priorities was to help the most vulnerable in society, especially children.

“This service will provide much needed help to those very people.

“Crimes committed against children and young people – particularly sexual crimes – are abhorrent.

“While providing additional resources to South Yorkshire Police to prevent such crimes and to bring to swift justice those who commit such offences, I also want to help support those who fall prey to such crime.

“I want to help them not only to give their evidence but to support them in rebuilding their lives.”

Some of the £300,000 grant, to be spent over the next three years, will fund Victim Case Workers who will provide practical and emotional support to vulnerable victims of crime.

A South Yorkshire Victim Support spokesman said: “The caseworkers will work closely with the police and other agencies to address gaps and delays in services with the aim of providing a consistent level of support for those victims with the greatest needs.

“Run by trained staff and volunteers, the service will help support children and young people and their parents or carers before, during and after any trial, so they can give the best evidence to the court and reduce any further trauma caused by their experience.”

The service will be available to young witnesses in all categories of crime in all of the crown, magistrates’ and youth courts in South Yorkshire.

Christine Empson, Victim Support divisional manager for South Yorkshire, said: “This funding is welcome news for victims and witnesses, and of course for Victim Support itself.

“We are grateful to Mr Wright for enabling us to bolster our services to young victims and witnesses.”