PCC sets another record investment for victim support services
More than £2.6 million is being put into victim support and other services by Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye this year.
The funding will support a whole range of prevention and early intervention services to support victims of crime and prevent things like domestic abuse and exploitation.
Commissioning has been based on rigorous research by staff in the commissioner’s office, using police data and public surveys to identify the most important areas for investment, as well as ensuring progress on Mr Akinbusoye’s own police and crime plan.
“I want to thank all those organisations that applied for funding this year,” he said.
“As a custodian of the public purse, it is vital that the process of considering any applications for support and funding is robust, transparent and completely focussed on outcomes.
“I am pleased that this crucial funding will ensure that the concerns and challenges faced by residents in Bedfordshire are addressed with real action.
“Prevention is always better than cure and as the commissioner who leads nationally for prevention, I am incredibly passionate about championing services that can help victims and stop people getting drawn into a life of crime in the first place.”
Funding beneficiaries, Victim Support, provide free and confidential support to victims of crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales.
Victim Support Area Manager, Justin Sarginson, said: “We are incredibly pleased to have received additional funding to offer a non-domestic abuse stalking pilot role to victims of stalking in Bedfordshire this year.
“This role will enhance our current stalking provision, which will help ensure that victims have access to specialist support, information and advice. We are proud to be working with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Bedfordshire on such an important project.”
Research by the PCC’s commissioning team used data from a number of sources including the Victim Needs Analysis 2021, local authority priorities and national data such as the Crime Survey for England and Wales and other national statistics.
The needs assessment confirmed areas of continued need, such as domestic abuse and sexual violence, as well as identifying new areas for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to focus on such as exploitation, stalking, hate crime and community mediation.
Almost £317,000 is being invested in new services this year, with an additional £703,000 being put into new initiatives and services focused on children, young people and restorative justice.
This new investment alongside continued funding for existing services takes the total funding for PCC commissioned victim and community safety services to £2,615,089 across 2023/24.
The PCC has a responsibility to fund local services to support victims of crime in Bedfordshire as well as managing the commissioning process for services funded by the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office in the county.
The commissioning process is administered by the OPCC, which advertises the services to be provided, receives and reviews the applications, awards commissioning grants to successful organisations and monitors the delivery of the services.