PCC visits Keynsham Police Centre to see new victim support services in action

Published on: 30 Jun 2015

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Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has paid a visit to Keynsham to see a newly launched victim support service in action.

The Avon and Somerset PCC was welcomed to Keynsham Police Centre by a team from Lighthouse Victim and Witness Care, which was set up as part of a drive launched by Ms Mountstevens to improve support for those affected by crime, from their first contact with police and on to the end of the criminal justice process.

The visit on June 23 was the first by the PCC since the service and others across the Avon and Somerset force area launched on April 1.

She also met members of the Victim Support team and the North East Restorative Justice coordinator, who are based at the Ashmead Road centre alongside the Lighthouse hub, and was given a tour to show how being under the same roof works for each of the services.

Many of those receiving help from Victim Support, which has received £296,973 to deliver an emotional support service, have been referred by Lighthouse.

Part of the reform of victim care in Avon and Somerset includes the development of restorative justice, which gives the victim the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the person responsible to help them move on by talking about the experience.

Avon and Somerset Restorative Justice development manager Helen Rosenthal said: “Through the development of restorative justice services in Avon and Somerset we strive to put the victim at the heart of what we do. A multi-agency restorative justice service will give victims a voice and access to support.”

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “We’ve started from scratch to review what’s right for our communities in 2015 and come up with a fresh approach, rather than simply continuing with what already existed. I am excited about the services and am confident they will help those people who unfortunately experience crime and anti-social behaviour.”

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