Following the launch of Voice for Victims and Witnesses in October 2014, the Police and Crime Commissioner is set to launch a new support service for children and young people.
The new addition to the Voice family will offer support services to all children and young people who have been a victim of crime, whether they have been in contact with police or not. The service will work alongside the Voice for Victims and Witnesses service.
Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, said:
“Providing new modern evidence-led services to people who have suffered harm and distress and loss has to be one of the top two priorities for me.
“Ever since our Victims Voice report in 2013, which set out the challenge for victims and witnesses of crime in the criminal justice system, I have been determined to turn things around; to make the kind of changes in the current system and build new organisations, which can mean people get access to the help they need as soon as possible for as long as they need.
“I do not want the system victimising people over and over again through the poor service they receive at the hands of the police, CPS and health services. We need more support not less.
“This new service for young people is going to be amazing and by directly engaging with young people in the design of the service we hope the shape, the look, feel and future of it will make it stronger and relevant for a group of society who are often our most vulnerable when it comes to criminal justice. Young people are the clear end-user of this service but I also want them involved in developing future services.
“Being the victim or witness of a crime when you’re a child can have a life changing impact and I want to make sure we are doing everything we can in Northamptonshire to support young people as much as possible.”
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Notes to editors
The children’s and young people service will be established in two phases.
Phase one will see the creation of services that assess the needs of young people, enables the voice of the young person to be heard and brokers support to enable the young person to cope, recover and thrive. Specialist therapeutic services will also be commissioned in this phase. Self-referrals to the service will be taken and the successful provider(s) will be required to work within the existing safeguarding pathways in the county to gain direct referrals. Services will be available to children and young people aged 0-18, with discretion applied on a need by need basis up to age 25.
Phase two will be informed by a specific needs assessment of gaps and areas identified in phase one, carried out by the Institute of Public Safety Crime and Justice to be delivered later in 2016.
Opportunities to collaborate with partners such as Northamptonshire County Council and NHS England will also explored in this phase.
The tendering application process for phase one of the service closes on 13 November. Public and private sector organisations are being invited to bid for the new contract to run what will be a service that is free from the point of delivery and which will go live early in 2016.