Cleveland Police boss welcomes £237k cash boost for crime victims

Barry Coppinger

Barry Coppinger

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A POLICE chief has welcomed news of a six-figure cash boost which will help victims of crime.

Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Barry Coppinger is delighted with the announcement by Victim’s Minister Damian Green that the Home Office has allocated almost £237,000 for four projects – the full amount requested from the Completed Fund to be used to support victims of crime.

The cash will be used to provide body cameras for officers, meaning evidence will be readily available rather than victims having to go through the pressure of going to court.

Funds will also be used to tackle domestic violence, while money will be set aside to help youngsters who have experienced issues at home.

The question of honour-based violence (which is religious-based issues) and forced marriages – which are seen as being under-reported – will also be tackled by cash from the scheme.

Mr Coppinger said: “The bidding process was started in April and invited PCCs to demonstrate the need for additional funding to support victims of serious crime, those who are persistently targeted or to aid vulnerable or intimidated victims to help them recover.

“The projects we put forward included a request for £107,700 for officers to wear body cameras to enable effective evidence-gathering which can also take pressure off victims, avoiding the need, in some instances, for testimony in court.

“Video-links to court buildings from neutral locations and the introduction of pre-trial therapy for victims of serious crime were also put forward in this project.

“We were also awarded £63,200 towards increasing victim safety and reducing intimidation.

“These projects focus on keeping domestic violence victims safe, and the introduction of a ‘one-touch’ emergency contact phone will ensure repeat victims can easily summon assistance and capture critical evidence.

“This will be followed up by joint visits by support workers and neighbourhood police officers who will provide a combination of reassurance and practical help.

“A total of £29,000 was awarded to supporting young victims with schools being notified immediately where a pupil has experienced the trauma of domestic violence or abuse.

“And £37,000 was awarded to ‘Build Confidence and Awareness’ to tackle the issues of honour-based violence and forced marriage which are significantly under-reported.

“We will be offering a programme of confidence building and awareness-raising targeted at ethnic minority victims which will be led by the ethnic minority community, and offering other support material to help victims cope and recover.”

Mr Coppinger added: “I believe that the projects applied for will offer help where it is most needed.

“I take great delight that they gained the full support of the Home Office who have decided all of the projects put forward in the bidding process merited funding.”