The Police & Crime Commissioners for Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley have worked together to commission a single support service for all three police areas. This contract provides a contact centre to assess victims’ needs and support to help them to cope and recover from their experiences.
Within Sussex, this contract also provides local support services, delivered by Victim Support. This provision builds on previous, nationally-led arrangements, and also delivers further specialist services for young people and the most vulnerable victims.
The PCC is committed to working in partnership with other statutory agencies, such as the local authorities and the police to provide the best possible services to residents in Sussex, particularly those that support victims of the most serious crimes, such as domestic and sexual violence.
This work is scrutinised by county-wide management boards to ensure these services meet the needs of local residents and provide value for money.
If you’ve been a victim of crime in Sussex, Victim Support will provide you with free, tailored support services whether you’ve reported the crime to the police or not. For help and support please contact:
Tel: 0808 168 9274
Victim Support can also provide information about further specialist support services in your local area.
Safe:Space Sussex is a new website improving direct access to help and support for victims and witnesses of crime in Sussex. The site, developed by the Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, provides an online directory of local specialist support services as well as information about different types of crime and what happens at each stage of the criminal justice system, helping to ‘demystify’ the process for people when they may be at their most vulnerable.
Safe:Space Sussex has been built in close consultation with local victims’ services and follows extensive user testing with victims to ensure it meets their needs, whatever stage they have reached in their recovery. Some users may not have reported the crime to the police, some may not even identify that they have been a victim of crime. Regardless of the circumstances, Safe:Space Sussex provides a secure environment where, at the click of a button, people who may be feeling unsafe can find out what local help and support is available to them.
Our Victims’ Services Fund provides financial support (grant awards up to £10,000) to voluntary and third-sector organisations in Sussex that help individuals to cope and recover from the impact of crime.
Click on the infographic below to see just some of the local victims’ services which have benefited from this funding.
Restorative Justice (RJ)
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a powerful and effective voluntary process which gives the victim the chance to explain to the offender the impact that their crime has had on you. It will only happen if the victim and the offender both want to take part and a trained facilitator decides that it's safe.
The code of practice for victims of crime
Victims of crime are entitled to certain support and information from criminal justice agencies such as the police, Courts Service and the Crown Prosecution Service. The Victims Code is a Government document which specifies what each criminal justice agency must do for the victim and the timeframe for doing it.
Under the Victims Code you are entitled to the following:
- The right to be kept informed by the police on the case progression.
- The right to be told when a suspect has been arrested, charged, bailed or sentenced.
- The right to apply for special measures if you are a vulnerable or intimidated witness. These measures include having the court case held in private with no press or public allowed or having screens around the witness box when giving evidence.
- The right to receive information about Restorative Justice and how you can take part.
To view the full version of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, please click here.
The Witness Charter
Citizens Advice Witness Service
Since April 2015 Citizens Advice has been providing the Witness Service at court. For more information regarding their services please click here.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has published a Commissioning Framework containing information on the commissioning cycle as well as specific information relating to the provision of services for victims.
The MOJ has also published its Victims’ Code of Practice. This Code applies to all victims of criminal offences under the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and sets out the services to be provided to victims of crime in England and Wales by criminal justice agencies.
The Ministry of Justice’s Witness Charter sets out the standards of care you can expect if you are a witness to a crime in England and Wales. The Charter has been updated to reflect the entitlements in the new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code). If you are a victim of crime and have been called as a witness, you have specific legal entitlements, as set out in the Code.
This information leaflet sets out what you can expect from the Criminal Justice System if you are a victim of crime. It contains information about organisations that you can contact for free advice, practical information or emotional support.
To find out more please click on the links below: