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Coming together for victims

July 18, 2013

MORE than 50 specialists from across Staffordshire are coming together later today to discuss a new vision to put victims of crime first.

The ground-breaking event – called ‘A Gateway To Haven’ – will see organisations who work with victims from the public and voluntary sector gather at police headquarters in Stafford.

Supporting victims and witnesses is one of four key priorities in the Office of the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s new Safer, Fairer, United Communities strategy.

The event is a culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work to bring relevant organisations to the discussion table.

At the core of today’s agenda are plans, highlighted in the strategy, for a single gateway to join up the work of support organisations in an understandable way for victims.

I’ve been reviewing existing victim services since taking up my post as the county’s deputy police and crime commissioner.

I believe the time is now right for reform.

For too long, victims have had to fit the criminal justice system rather than the system fitting victims.

This gateway will offer ‘one-stop’ access to services and give direction, protection and support which places victims and their families at the heart of the process.

Victims want to be treated as individuals not crime numbers. They need to be able to access the right service at the right time rather than trying to battle through a myriad of contacts at different agencies to get the help they require

We need a streamlined system that avoids duplication and protects those at risk of becoming a victim or repeat victim.

Together, we can look at ways we could join up services locally and nationally while considering current gaps in provision.

To find out how the Safer, Fairer, Communities strategy will make things easier for victims and witnesses – and to have your say – visit http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk

People can also join the conversation on facebook.com/staffordshirepcc or on Twitter @StaffsPCC

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