by Nick O'Shea on 5 August, 2012
Surrey Lib Dem PCC candidate Nick O’Shea says that too often the system just pays lip service to helping victims and witness, and calls for greater support for victims and witnesses of crime so that people are more likely to report crimes they experience, and can get help to cope with it.
After my visit to Surrey Victim Support at the end of July, I’m calling for greater support for victims and witnesses of crime so that people are more likely to report crimes they experience, and can get help to cope with them.
Too often, vulnerable people on the receiving end of abuse, exploitation and violence are more frightened of the police and courts than of the criminals. This need not be the case.
Surrey Victim Support do a fantastic job helping both victims and witness of crime not only recover from the often traumatic experience of crime but then to face the daunting prospect of going to court and giving evidence when the police find the perpetrators and the CPS bring a prosecution, experiences which are totally outside the normal day-to-day things we all live through.
Surrey Victim Support is manned largely by unpaid civilian volunteers who provide a first class professional service – working with other agencies such as social, youth and health services as well as the justice system to enable people to cope with their experiences, not just in the immediate aftermath of the crime or court appearance, but for weeks or months afterwards sometime.
This is absolutely essential for people who are frightened to report sometimes appalling crimes – so if YOU are the victim or witness of domestic or sexual abuse, you CAN report this because they WILL ensure you are helped through not only the stress of abuse, but also with the consequences of finding and prosecuting the abusers.
I’m really looking forward to working with and supporting Surrey Victim Support after I get elected as Surrey’s PCC in November – and I’m committed to continuing and extending the scope of their excellent work, and of making vulnerable people who experience crime more confident to report it and get the help they need – and which IS available for them.
For more information on the Victim Support services available in Surrey, please visit: http://www.victimsupport.org.uk/Contact-us/south-east
If you have experienced crime either as a witness or victim and are looking for help and support, you can contact Surrey Victim Support on 0845 30 30 900
(The cost of calling 0845 numbers can vary depending on your telephone service provider).