From October this year, the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Anthony Stansfield, will be responsible for commissioning most emotional and practical support services for victims of crime in this area. Across the country, local commissioning is replacing the old system of grant-funding by the Ministry of Justice, although some services will still be commissioned nationally, including the witness service, homicide service, trafficking service, rape support and some victims’ helplines.
In preparation for the commissioning of victim services, the PCC “will commit to investing in the capability of the provider base, particularly those working with victims of the most serious crime, those persistently targeted or vulnerable and intimidated victims” and “will carry out outcome-focussed commissioning, providing services to achieve two high level outcomes
- to help victims cope with the initial impact of crime, and
- to subsequently recover from the harm experienced”
What does this mean for the voluntary sector locally? Currently there is a real opportunity for voluntary organisations to demonstrate how they support victims of crime. Remember that it’s about emotional and practical support, so this may not be your core business. If you provide counselling services or legal advice, some of your beneficiaries may well be victims of crime. Maybe now is the time to try and develop a more detailed picture of the people who use your service, to gather evidence of the support you provide for victims of crime.
The PCC will be commissioning specialist services for victims in the Thames Valley, including restorative justice services. This will involve a three step process:
(1) First Phase Victims and Restorative Justice (RJ) Grants competition (closing date May 30th 2014)
(2) Second Phase Victims and RJ Grants competition (Sept 2014), and
(3) Contract tendering for commissioned services (Oct 2014 to Mar 2015)
Find out more by registering for the PCC engagement workshop in Reading on 26th June. The workshop will:
- Provide up-to-date information on transitional grant-funding and commissioning arrangements
- Offer practical advice and resources to support participation in the bidding process
- Facilitate partnership-working between organisations, where appropriate
- Enable a two-way dialogue with the PCC, informing the commissioning approach
And visit the TV PCC website for more information