Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has taken the decision to move Signpost, the website and call centre service which provides emotional and practical support for victims of crime and those affected by it, under the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC). The move, which has been effective from the start of July, means Commissioner Holloway will now oversee the service and its employees to build on Signpost's outstanding success so far.
Signpost was launched in April 2018 by the PCC, to provide access to quality help, support, advice and guidance, with referrals to a wide range of specialist support organisations. The Signpost Hub, which employs 10 members of staff working as Victim Care coordinators under a line manager, supported 2,452 victims last year and has been working closely with charities and organisations to ensure victims receive the right support.
“While the business case for the Signpost service came from me and I pay for the service, it had been managed by Bedfordshire Police until now. Having been able to bring in a specialist officer who has extensive experience of delivering high quality victim care from the Metropolitan Police it seemed a perfect time to progress a service which has already been recognised by the police watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) as ‘notable practise’ to recommend to all police forces in England and Wales.
“Having been responsible for the creation of the Signpost website and call centre service, I’m sure everyone will appreciate how delighted I am with where we have got to so far but I’m absolutely convinced we can build on that success and go even further with a victim care specialist at its helm,” said Commissioner Holloway.
The PCC has appointed Simon Powell as the new Head of Victim Care in Bedfordshire and his responsibilities will include managing Signpost. Simon served as a police officer for seventeen years, working for the Metropolitan Police in various roles including, most recently, victim care, being responsible for delivery of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (known as the Victims' Code).
“I am thrilled to have joined the OPCC as the Head of Victim Care. Since joining, it has been clear to me that supporting victims is at the heart of what they do. I am working with a great team in the Signpost Hub; we are all passionate about providing the best and most effective victim care. There is always room for growth and improvement, so I will be working closely with our partners to strengthen those relationships and see what more we can do to support those who need us most,” said Simon Powell.
“Simon is absolutely on our wavelength at Bedfordshire Police and the OPCC and we’re very lucky to have him. He is passionate about providing victims of crime and those who have been impacted by it, who may be partners, parents or children of the victim themselves, with the best possible service and I very much look forward to working with him,” said PCC Holloway.
If you have been affected by crime, the Signpost Hub offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether or not it has been reported to police and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred. Contact 0800 0282887 or visit www.signpostforbedfordshire.com for further information.