A new unit that aims to support victims of crime has been launched in Gwent.
From July 12, victims will be supported by the victim care unit, based in the Connect Gwent victims’ hub in Blackwood.
The team, made up of 19 victim care officers, will act as the central point of contact for victims from the point of reporting a crime to the conclusion of the criminal justice process. They will be working closely with officers to ensure victims are fully updated on the investigation they are involved in.
The victim care officers have all been trained to assess victims' individual needs and offer tailored support. The victim care unit will be working with partner agencies to refer victims for enhanced support should they need it.
The new team will also be ensuring that victims know their rights under the victims’ code of practice.
Chief constable of Gwent Police Pam Kelly said:
“Victims are at the heart of everything we do here at Gwent Police and this new unit aims to improve the support we provide to those who need it most in our communities. Crime can have a devastating impact on victims - it is vital that victims receive the information and support they need to help cope and recover.
“I want to make sure that victims have a more positive experience of the criminal justice system, which is why we have invested heavily along with the police and crime commissioner in this new unit. We know that when a victim is given the right support, not only does it aid their recovery and reduce repeat victimisation but when coupled with an effective investigation, it gives them more confidence in the criminal justice system to help bring offenders to justice.
“I would like to thank those victims of crime who have assisted with the development of the victim care unit – your feedback has helped to make a difference to our communities.
“We’re working hard to make sure all victims have greater confidence to report incidents to the police and this new unit shows our commitment to supporting victims of crime in Gwent.”
Police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said:
“Ensuring that victims of crime receive the very best services, care and support is a priority for me.
“Connect Gwent was the first victim’s hub of its kind in Wales and led the way by bringing key support services together under one roof.
“The new unit will mean that victims benefit from regular contact with a victim care officer who will work alongside the investigating police team to ensure that they are fully supported and kept up to date throughout the criminal justice process.”
(Main image from left: PCC Jeff Cuthbert, chief constable Pam Kelly and victim care unit supervisor Shannon Hillman)