Listening and learning vctim support essex


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Listening and learning vctim support essex

  1. 1. 1. Executive summary2. Introduction3. What we learned4. The service needs of victims of crime5. Delivering services to victims: issues identified & what can be done to address them6. Appendices7. References “I want reassurance that something’s going to be done…..a couple of months passes and the anti-social behaviour all flairs up again theyve shut the case and then theyve got to start a new one… they really need to reassure people they are going to keep an eye on things and actually do something about it” (Female victim of anti-social behaviour) 1
  2. 2. 1.3 This information told us that:This report was researched and written by the 1.3.1 Support for victims in Essex is providedvictims’ services advocates (VSA) project. by agencies in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. There are a number ofThe VSA project was commissioned by the effective strategic and operationalformer Victims Commissioner in anticipation of partnerships, with representation from allthe arrival of the police and crime commissioner sectors. Despite a reduction in staff(PCC) for Essex. resources in many organisations, working together in the interest of victims andIntroduced by the Police Reform and Social witnesses remains a key priority.Responsibility Act 2011, elected PCCs will replace 1.3.2 Victims emphasised that they need clearpolice authorities across England and Wales from and regular communication fromNovember 2012. services. They reported that there was inconsistent communication about theirThis report aims to: cases from the Police and other statutory summarise current support for victims in agencies, particularly with regard to Essex organisations which could provide them identify what victims need from local services with emotional and practical support. propose a course of action by the PCC to Victims also explained that they want meet these needs. services that are responsive to their individual needs and that are able to1.1 The report was commissioned to look work together to support each victim. particularly at the needs of the following groups: 1.3.3 There was very limited local research victims of antisocial behaviour available to inform the report. However, victims of domestic abuse we were able to draw out some very victims of sexual violence useful information to support our work victims of hate crime from national research and local knowledge. people bereaved by murder and manslaughter 1.3.4 Analysis of statistical data from the British young victims of crime. Crime Survey enabled us to compare Essex data and national data. We gained1.2 Five sources of information contributed to quantitative insight into people’s the findings of this report: perceptions of crime, into their main a mapping exercise to identify current concerns, and into how effective people services for victims in Essex (see appendix 6 in Essex perceive their services to be. for a list of organisations mapped) the contribution of local organisations and 1.3.5 Financial pressure in all service sectors stakeholders has stretched service providers. Statutory focus groups and interviews with victims of and voluntary organisations are keen to crime work in partnership, to share resources a review of statistical data, mainly from the and to work together more effectively, in British Crime Survey order to protect support services to existing local evidence and research on victims. victims of crime. 2
  3. 3. 1.4 Looking in more depth at the needs of 1.4.4 There are very few well established Essex victims and witnesses in the key services supporting those bereaved by crime categories, we further identified murder or manslaughter in that: Essex. Evidence confirms that the impact of homicide can affect more than just1.4.1 There is a strong commitment from the one or two members of the family. Our authorities in Essex to address anti-social findings indicate that further research behaviour and support victims. The into the demand and capacity of services introduction of minimum standards by working in this area is needed. This is Essex Police should significantly enhance particularly so with regard to accessing the experience of victims. counselling, with regard to accessing Communication to the public of the therapy and with regard to support for priority placed on addressing anti-social children and young people. behaviour has the potential to not only improve the perception of how the 1.4.5 Under reporting of hate crime is high and Police and other agencies are viewed, but further work is required to build up an also to encourage an increase in accurate picture of hate crime in Essex. reporting. There is little independent Essex Police is committed to improving support available for victims of anti- reporting and detection rates of hate social behaviour, especially where crime. As elsewhere in England, there is incidents are not treated as criminal confusion among victims about what offences. hate crime is. This can prevent victims reporting an incident. Essex also has a1.4.2 Essex has high demand for services which number of voluntary organisations which respond to domestic abuse incidents, yet provide support for victims of hate crime findings identified a significant gap in and act as third party reporting centres. meeting this service demand. As Much of the current support available, elsewhere in England, Essex has low however, is subject to precarious funding. Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) provision. Funding for increased 1.4.6 There are very limited specialist services number of IDVAs needs to be for young victims in Essex. Further strategically reviewed and resolved as a research is required to determine what matter of urgency. Communication with support young victims need. Research victims about their cases should be from across the country showed that improved so that they can easily find out young people often feel that they are what is happening. perceived as offenders rather than as victims by the police. In general, young1.4.3 There are limited Independent Sexual people felt that in most cases they would Violence Adviser (ISVAs) resources to deal with the situation themselves. Based respond to the increasing demand of on the evidence and research we have more cases going through the Sexual gathered, more work is required to build Assault Referral Centre (SARC). There are relationships with young people and to three ISVAs for Essex. Two are managed break down barriers they have in dealing by Victim Support and one is managed with the Police. by South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC). This low number of ISVAs may prevent some victims from accessing support. We also found inconsistent communication to victims by agencies. 3
  4. 4. 1.5 Taking into account the findings of this 1.6.4 The Police and Crime Commissioner report and the duty on PCCs to obtain should invest in training and support for the views of victims of crime before volunteer community resources to setting their policing plan, this report provide cost-effective support services proposes the following actions to address and to reach victims in diverse the issues identified in this report: communities and victims with barriers to accessing services.1.6 Proposed actions 1.6.5 The Police and Crime Commissioner1.6.1 The Police and Crime must ensure that victims’ voices are Commissioner(PCC) should ensure that heard. This can be done by providing victims’ issues are prioritised by support for increased use of measures appointing a senior member of his/her such as victim personal statements and team to be the ‘Essex Victims Champion’ restorative justice programmes. It can responsible for all aspects of victims’ also be done by investing in victims services. advisory panels and by ensuring that the Essex Voluntary and Community Sector1.6.2 The Police and Crime Commissioner network is represented on these panels. must ensure the sustainability of independent services for victims both in the immediate aftermath of a crime and for the longer term through an outcome based approach. The PCC should work with other commissioners in the county to ensure that appropriate, relevant services are available to victims. They should prioritise services which are able to meet victims’ needs as they change and services which prevent escalation of risk. They should also encourage service providers to work together as it is unlikely that one service provider can ever fully meet the needs of a victim. Recognising multiple needs and encouraging services to work together to meet these needs may reduce the risk that specialist services are not lost as a result of commissioning processes.1.6.3 The Police and Crime Commissioner should establish an Essex multi-agency victim hub which would provide a single on-going point of contact for victims, who are not automatically referred or do not directly access other agencies. The hub would outline options for courses of action, would provide updates on case progress and information about criminal justice processes, and would also provide a gateway to support services. 4
  5. 5. victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and others affected across England and Wales. This report was written for Essex and aims to:2.1. Police and crime commissioners  provide a picture of current support for victims in EssexIntroduced by the Police Reform and Social  identify what victims need from local servicesResponsibility Act 2011, elected police and crime  propose a course of action by the PCC tocommissioners (PCCs) will replace police meet these needsauthorities across England and Wales fromNovember 2012. In London the Mayor’s Office The report seeks to present the views of victimsfor Policing and Crime took on this role from and service providers in Essex.January 2012. While the project took great care to explore thePCCs will be elected by the public to hold chief full range of issues concerning victims’ services inconstables and their force(s) to account. PCCs Essex and to consult a wide range of localwill be responsible for setting the police force’s stakeholders and partner organisations, it isstrategic priorities, cutting crime and ensuring acknowledged that there may be issues that thethat policing is efficient and effective. PCCs will report has not been able to cover, given thealso be responsible for appointing the chief timescales and scope. It is also acknowledgedconstable. that, given the complexity of the subject area, in some cases issues are raised which do not havePCCs will be expected to work with a range of straightforward solutions. These will require closepublic, private and voluntary partners working in partnership working across systems and agenciescriminal justice, community safety and public to deliver It will have a significant role to play inthe commissioning of some local services 1 which The report was commissioned to look particularlymay include services for victims of crime 2 . at the needs of the following groups:PCCs will also have a specific duty to obtain the  victims of antisocial behaviourviews of victims of crime 3 before setting the local  victims of domestic abusepolicing plan. This gives an unprecedented  victims of sexual violenceopportunity for victims to influence the servicesthey get.  victims of hate crime  people bereaved by murder and2.2. This report manslaughter  young victims of crimeThis report was researched and developed by thevictims’ services advocates (VSA) Project. The Victims’ services advocates were recruited toproject was commissioned by the former identify and research the needs of victims ofcommissioner for victims and witnesses in crime, and to identify and research issues ofanticipation of the arrival of PCCs, and delivered concern to those who provide services to Victim Support. Victim Support is the nationalcharity giving free and confidential help to This is one of 42 local reports, covering every police area in England and Wales. 4 Delivery of the reports has been overseen by colleagues from the Home Office, which funded the project,1 Police and Crime Commissioners: Have you got what it and the Ministry of Justice. Ownership of all 42takes? Home Office, 2011 reports sits with the Home Office.2 At the time of writing, the government is consulting onproposals to devolve responsibility for commissioning localservices to victims and witnesses to PCCs (Getting it right forvictims and witnesses, Ministry of Justice, January 2012)3 4 Introduced by The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Including the Metropolitan Police, but not the City ofAct 2011 London Police, which is unaffected by the reforms. 5
  6. 6. We acknowledged at the outset that a single organisation may provide a range of individual services, so this exercise set out to map services,Five sources of information contributed to the not organisations.findings of this report: What was out of scope? a mapping exercise to identify the services The research did not include services offering that currently exist for victims in Essex (see more generic support – for example services appendix 6 for a list) offering general support around housing, or drug consultation with local organisations and and alcohol support. It is acknowledged however stakeholders that some victims may not seek help from focus groups and interviews with victims of specialist victims’ services, and therefore that we crime may not have included the full range of services a review of statistical data from sources accessed or required by victims. including the British Crime Survey existing local evidence and research. Further research would be required to assess the full range of services used by victims, especiallyThis chapter outlines what we learned from these those in the most vulnerable circumstances,different sources about what victims need from whom services can find harder to reach.local services. This mapping exercise should not be seen as3.1. Mapping services to victims in Essex comprehensive or exhaustive. It should also be noted that, as with any such exercise, theThe victims’ services advocates (VSA) project landscape can change rapidly. To the best of ourundertook a mapping exercise to identify services knowledge, the information contained in thisfor victims in Essex. This involved: report was correct at the time of writing. desk based research into local services discussions with key local organisations – including police, local authority and third sector agencies – about services available The landscape of services to victims in Essex feedback from local victims of crime. Essex is divided into 14 local governmentWhat was in scope? districts, including two Unitary Authorities in Southend and Thurrock. Essex Police provides aThis was a time-limited project, spanning a 12 service in all districts.month period. The project focused primarily onservices for: The county-wide Safer Essex Partnership has responsibility for initiatives responding to the victims of antisocial behaviour issues of crime, disorder, drugs and alcohol. victims of domestic abuse Essex has 12 Community Safety Partnerships victims of sexual violence (CSPs) that work closely together to reduce anti- victims of hate crime social behaviour, crime and the fear of crime. people bereaved by murder and CSPs are made up of representatives from the manslaughter Police and Police Authority, the local authority, young victims of crime. fire and rescue, health and probation services. They work together to develop and implementIt also included services for witnesses if offered as strategies to meet local priorities to reduce crimepart of a combined victim/witness service. and to help people feel safe. They develop local approaches to deal with priority issues including 6
  7. 7. anti-social behaviour, drug or alcohol misuse and The South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centrere-offending. (SERICC) is funded for one ISVA post covering the areas of Thurrock, Basildon and Brentwood.Thurrock has a Community Safety Partnershipwhich builds and maintains relationships across Support exists for other crime categories such asthe district so that those involved in community anti-social behaviour. Each Community Safetysafety in its widest sense can support each other Partnership has established minimum standardsin the shared pursuit of their strategic aims. to ensure that victims are treated fairly and with dignity. Practical support is available to addressSouthend has a Community Safety Unit which is victims needs, and relevant information andmulti-agency and based at Southend Central intelligence are shared. Victim Support offersPolice Station. anti-social behaviour victims advice and support in two local authority areas – Braintree andThe Code of Practice for Victims of Crime Thurrock. These areas are short-term project funded to focus upon repeat or vulnerableEssex Police is committed to compliance with the category victims, and to focus upon anti-socialCode of Practice for Victims of Crime, which sets behaviour when it is linked to a reportable crime.out minimum service requirements for updating Neighborhood policing teams work closely withvictims of crime between 1-5 days depending on victims of anti-social behaviour to resolve localthe trigger point and vulnerability of the victim. issues.Compliance with the code is a requirement by Voluntary sector agencies provide a variety ofHer Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. The support services for victims of hate crime, andexecutive level of Essex Constabulary takes dedicated police Hate Crime Officers investigateresponsibility for compliance. Outcomes are reported incidents. These officers haveused at Divisional Command and are also utilised established links with other criminal justiceat local level as a management tool to monitor agencies, as well as many public and voluntaryperformance and disseminate best practice. sector organisations, which may be able to provide a victim with further support or advice.Overview of Services in EssexDomestic abuse services exist in the form ofIndependent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs)managed by Victim Support. IDVAs provideindependent support to high risk victims. They 3.2 What victims in Essex told usassess risk, carry out safety planning, andfacilitate effective partnership working within From autumn 2011 we held a series of focusmulti-agencies dependent on the victims groups and interviews with victims of crime inengagement with the criminal justice process. Essex. Some but not all had also been witnesses;IDVAs also provide advice, information and some had had no contact with the criminalsupport to survivors of domestic abuse about the justice system at all.options available to them. This increases thepersonal safety of survivors and their children. We recruited people to the focus groups andEssex Police has a team of specially trained interviews through:officers called Domestic Abuse Liaison Officers.Their role is to investigate and offer immediate  ‘gateway’ organisations, i.e. organisationsand long term support to those most at risk. whose services the victims’ services advocateTwo full-time Independent Sexual Violence had already had contact with through theAdvisors (ISVAs) are managed by Victim Support mapping exercise. Victim Support, as the hostand provide support for victims of sexual organisation for the project, was one suchviolence. They cover all of the Essex police area. organisationReferrals are via Oakwood Place Sexual Assault  partner organisations in the criminal justiceReferral Centre (SARC). Victim Support provides system, especially the policesupport throughout the Criminal Justice Process. 7
  8. 8.  advertising using bespoke publicity materials inadequate communication. A variety of issues publicity in local media. with communication were mentioned, including keeping victims up to date, explaining theAll participants had generally experienced the process and the attitude of the officers involved.crime in the last two years. We sought to ensure Victims we spoke to described the impact a lackfrom the outset that their feedback was based on of follow-up contact from officers had. Whererecent experience and relevant to current follow up was good it was often mentioned asservices. The exception to this was some victims one of the key things that kept the victimof sexual abuse who had experienced the crime engaged in the process, ‘I know I can ring them,up to five years previously but had received its in their minds, you feel like you’re notservices relating to that experience more interrupting’. The attitude of officers was alsorecently. important to the victims we spoke to. They wanted officers to show understanding, care andThe project did not interview people bereaved by sensitivity to the situation, ‘One single sentencemurder and manslaughter. Instead, the project can change the whole situation’. Victims whohas referred to the 2011 report by the then experienced a lack of follow-up felt that officerscommissioner for victims and witnesses on the did not care.service landscape for people bereaved by murderand manslaughter 5 . Another common theme that emerged was the need for police officers to take victims seriously,The project was also asked to consider the needs and to believe them. This was particularlyof young people as victims of crime. In many important for victims of anti-social behaviour,police force areas, there are very few specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence whom weservices for young victims. Evidence also suggests spoke to.that young people are very reluctant to reportcrime in the first place, making it more difficult to There were also common themes with regard toidentify and respond to their needs. the support needs of victims. Victims we spoke with emphasised that victims need someone toTo avoid singling young people out within focus support them before problems escalate. Theygroups, the VSA did not ask individual young also thought that victims need betterpeople whether or not they had been victims of advocacy/action based services, and supportcrime. This means that it is not possible for us to which is flexible to the needs of each individual.say that the views expressed apply to young They mentioned the interaction between servicesvictims per se. and the need for more service coordination. Victims who had benefited from an advocate orFurther specialist research would be required in support coordinator spoke of ’having someone onorder to determine the specific service needs of their side’. Victims of anti-social behaviour weyoung victims of crime. spoke to often wanted support which would quickly end the behaviour of perpetrators.What we learnt from victims in Essex Victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse whom we spoke to had more long-term needs.Common themes from Focus Groups and They explained that they need someone to listenInterviews to them – someone who will help them rebuild their lives.Several common themes emerged from the focusgroups and interviews conducted with victims inEssex.The most common theme mentioned across thecrime/incident types was inconsistent and5 Review into the Needs of Families Bereaved by Homicide,Louise Casey CB, July 2011 8
  9. 9. 3.3 What existing evidence and research from 3.4 What the data tells us about victims andEssex tell us witnesses in EssexThe victims’ services advocate(s) in Essex called A number of sources of data are used throughouton local partner organisations to identify any this report to give a more comprehensive pictureexisting research, surveys or other evidence to of crime in Essex. We have drawn on data frominform his understanding of the needs of victims. The British Crime Survey (BCS) to understand the true extent of personal crime than policeThe VSA project has drawn on the evidence from recorded statistics because the survey includesthe following sources: crimes that are not reported to, or recorded by, the police. Essex Police and Essex Police Authority Strategic Plan 2010-2013 6 Police recorded crime is an important indicator Essex Police Plan 2012 7 of the workload for local police forces and also includes crime categories that are not covered byThe strategic plan outlines the direction for the BCS, including homicide.policing in Essex over the next three years andprovides the framework for the policing plan. Theplan takes account of the views and concerns ofthe people of Essex, which were identifiedthrough wide-ranging engagement andconsultation. Essex Police aims to tackle crime Crime in Essexand anti-social behaviour by reducing recordedcrime to less than 100,000 offences per annum In 2010/11 there were 103,445 recorded crimesby 2014. It wants Essex to become the safest in Essex, or 60 crimes per 1000 population. Thiscounty in England and Wales, and aims to do this compares to the national average of 76 per 1000by: population. targeting those crimes that are of most The 2010/11 British Crime Survey(BCS), which concern to local people through an includes data on unrecorded as well as recorded intelligence-led approach crime, estimates that there were 144,288 personal crimes in Essex, or 1021 per 10,000 building on the strong links with partnerships population. This compares to the national and communities to tackle those issues that average of 837 personal crimes per 10,000 most affect people’s quality of life, especially population. anti-social behaviour continuing to develop neighbourhood The BCS 2010/11 also estimates that there were policing teams across Essex to provide a 156,999 household crimes in Essex, or 2679 per highly visible and accessible service that 10,000 households. This compares to the improves face-to-face contact with the public national average of 2496 crimes per 10,000 tackling violent crime, including domestic households. abuse and hate crime increasing police visibility and reassurance Perceptions of the local police and council improving both the timeliness and the quality of response to calls for assistance. According to the British Crime Survey, 57% of respondents thought the police in their area are doing a good or excellent job. 51% of respondents also thought that the police in their area can be relied upon when needed. However,6 Essex Police and Essex Police Authority Strategic Plan with regard to whether victims thought the2010-2013 police in their area can be relied upon when needed, this percentage fell to 49.5%.7 Essex Police Plan 2012  9
  10. 10. Overall, 69% felt that the police in their area 3.5 What partner organisations and stakeholdersunderstand the issues affecting the local in Essex told uscommunity. Only 54%, however, felt that thepolice were dealing with the things that mattered This report could not have been producedto them. without the generous contribution of service providers throughout the voluntary and statutory53% of respondents felt that the police and local sectors in Essex, including criminal justicecouncil are dealing with anti-social behaviour agencies.and crime issues. 70% of respondents felt thatthe police and local council are effective in Their contribution has been invaluable in:reducing anti-social behaviour. However, only45.5% felt that they were kept informed about  mapping service provisionhow these matters were being dealt with.  recruiting participants for focus groups andFurthermore, only half of those surveyed thought interviewsthat the views of local people were sought on  obtaining evidence and researchanti-social and crime issues that matter in their  reviewing our findings and recommendationsarea.  publicising the project and helping the victims’ services advocates develop theirSatisfaction with the police and the Criminal network of contacts.Justice System Feedback from different partner organisationsAccording to the British Crime Survey, only 37% and stakeholders, including service providers,of respondents felt very or fairly confident that was varied. This reflected the different groups ofthe criminal justice system, as a whole, was victims they come into contact with, the differenteffective. 67% of victims surveyed said that they crimes those victims have experienced, and thewere not very confident or were not at all different stages at which they come into contactconfident in the effectiveness of the criminal with victims. However, some common themesjustice system. did emerge.55.5% of victims strongly agreed or tended to There was general agreement that there is a needagree that the criminal justice system gives them for the development of clear referral pathways tothe support they need and 69% agreed that their access appropriate routes for victims as theyviews were taken into account. 47.5% of victims make their journey through the various supportsaid that they were either not very confident or agencies supported by common assessment toolswere not at all confident that the criminal justice between agencies. Stakeholders felt that theresystem, as a whole, was fair. was already good practice in place – in relation to domestic abuse for example, and in each of theVictim Support works with local police to support authorities in relation to anti-social behaviour.victims and witnesses. Up until recently victims Stakeholders also felt that professionalhad to confirm that they wanted to be referred to judgement should play an important part in anyVictim Support, however now all victims of crime assessment of victim need. It was recognised thatare contacted and offered a service. The without this, assessments can start to becomecategories of crime referred include assaults ‘tick box’ exercises that do not engage with the(including murder), sexual assaults, domestic victim.abuse and burglary. Referral rates to VictimSupport vary between forces and more work is Improved information sharing between agenciesbeing done in Essex to increase referrals as, for was reported as an effective way of preventingexample in 2011 only 65% of racial assaults victims from having to make reports to different(including harassment) were referred to Victim agencies. A single point of contact toSupport. communicate with the victim, for example, was suggested as a way to deal with multiple interventions. It was also reported that while high risk victims often have one person, such as 10
  11. 11. an IDVA, who liaises with them, there areinsufficient resources to provide this same levelof service to victims assessed at standard ormedium risk. Stakeholders also felt that therewas a need to develop mechanisms foridentifying those who are more likely to escalatefrom standard to high risk.Another key concern expressed by agencies wasmanaging expectations of victims. Most agenciesare moving towards a victim-centred approach,which assesses vulnerability and risk, andprovides support in line with assessmentoutcomes. However, agencies felt that thereneeds to be improvement in providinginformation on case progression and availablesupport to victims. 11
  12. 12. Victims can find the process confusing if it is not properly explained, which may result in them losing confidence in the process.This project was initially commissioned to focuson victims of: victims of prolonged anti-social behaviour victims of domestic abuse Anti-social behaviour in Essex victims of sexual violence people bereaved by murder and Anti-social behaviour covers a range of incidents manslaughter. and offences. For the purposes of this report, we are using BCS measures of perception of anti-After the initial mapping exercise, it was agreed social behaviour and recorded anti-socialthat the project should also consider: behaviour incidents. These figures provide an indication of levels of anti-social behaviour. victims of hate crime, and young victims of crime In 2010/11, there were 71,056 recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour in Essex. This representsThis chapter considers all the information an 11% decrease in the level of incidents fromgathered over the lifetime of the project and aims 2009/10, compared with a national change of draw some conclusions about the priority The 2010/11 British Crime Survey 9 indicates thatservice needs of each of these groups of victims 11% of people in Essex perceived there to be highin Essex. These conclusions have been informed levels of anti-social behaviour in 2010/ existing evidence and research, both nationaland local. Despite an 11% reduction in anti-social behaviour in Essex, in the same year, only 53% of4.1. Victims of prolonged antisocial behaviour the public surveyed from the area as part of the British Crime Survey, said that they were satisfied,What is anti-social behaviour? to some extent, with the way that police and local councils are dealing with anti-social“Behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, behaviour. Only 50% felt that they wereharassment, alarm or distress to one or more consulted in respect of their views about anti-persons not of the same household as the social behaviour. To increase public confidence,perpetrator.” 8 12% felt that the criminal justice system needed to improve tackling anti-social behaviour andHer Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary minor crime. This was the second highest(HMIC) produced the ‘Stop the rot’ report on improvement need identified by the public. Theanti-social behaviour in September 2010. highest recorded improvement need was tougher sentencing at 27%.This stated that, “ASB is a blight on the lives ofmillions who are directly affected; on the What else do we know about anti-socialperceptions of millions more for whom it signals behaviour in Essexneglect in their neighbourhoods and the declineof whole towns and city areas; and the reputation Essex Police chairs the Essex anti-social behaviourof the police who are often thought to be Forum, which shares best practice and ensures allunconcerned or ineffectual”. 9Addressing anti-social behaviour incidents can be Victim Support analysis based on Home Office: a long and drawn out process, requiring a Research, Development and Statistics Directorate and coordinated approach from a range of agencies. BMRB, Social Research, British Crime Survey; 2010‐11,  as above.   8 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 12
  13. 13. agencies work together to reduce anti-social reassurance from the police that something isbehaviour and repeat victimisation. The police going to be done and they want to be listened to:are also committed to a set of minimumstandards in the way reports of anti-social ‘We are elderly people, as my husband is sick webehaviour will be treated. Essex Police have clear cant consider moving. We would have moved ifprocedures for responding to victims of anti- we were younger’. (Female victim of anti-socialsocial behaviour and to those who are repeat behaviour)victims. Essex Police respond to repeat victims ofanti-social behaviour by grading the crime Better communication was important to all thebronze, silver or gold. This sets what level of victims we spoke to. They felt they should beaction is assigned to each case and identifies the given a plan of action, which includes timescales.number of incidents and the vulnerability of the A Police presence on the street was cited asvictim. It also ensures that repeat or vulnerable important in preventing anti-social behaviour,category victims are highlighted at an early stage particularly in respect of dealing with youngand that appropriate actions and interventions people. Some victims commented that they usedare put in place. to see Police Community Safety Officers on the street but that they do not see these officersEssex Police also circulate a list of anti-social anymore. Anti-social behaviour victims webehaviour and vulnerable victims on a weekly spoke to also thought that the police shouldbasis to Sergeants, Inspectors and Senior make anti-social behaviour victims aware of anyManagers who can then check to see what voluntary organisations which could give themproblem solving/safety plans have been put in independent An anti-social behaviour incident does notoften involve a crime. Therefore, many anti- Victims also said that they received the greatestsocial behaviour incidents are not recorded support from other organisations including localunder a crime file in the police electronic authorities, housing associations and Victimrecording system. Instead, Essex Police maintain Support. This included practical and emotionalan actions log in which incidents and work support and facilitated mediation. Victims said itprogress are logged under the Joint Problem was important to have someone they could talkSolving System database (JPS). This database uses to, who was on their side and who focused ona traffic light colour coded system. The them as the victim.Neighbourhood Policing Team provides supportto victims of anti-social behaviour following anincident.Support for victims of anti-social behaviour inEssex Case studyVictim Support was commissioned by A woman was a victim of anti-social behaviourGreenfields Housing Association, Braintree incidents. These included objects being thrownDistrict Council and the Police to provide an anti- at her house, pets and garden, oil being put onsocial behaviour support service to vulnerable her car, and verbal abuse. These incidents mainlyand repeat victims of anti-social behaviour in the seemed to happen when she was alone in theBraintree district. Support for victims of anti- house with the children:social behaviour is also provided by localauthorities and by other housing associations. ”‘All of it makes me very wary of whats going on, and it’s taken effect on my mental health – I’mFeedback from victims of anti-social behaviour always on edge when my partner’s out at work and I dont let my children out of the front doorVictims we spoke to reported that they had a now, purely for safety reasons. The GP prescribedmixed experience of accessing support services me antidepressants”.for anti-social behaviour. Victims want 13
  14. 14. The incidents were reported to the police, but isolation and to ensure that ongoingnothing was done about them: victimisation and hotspot locations are identified. Frontline staff who respond to incidents of anti-”They really need to take things seriously. They social behaviour should be fully aware of theneed to deal with it quickly, explain what theyre services that are available to victims. They shoulddoing, how its going to be done and give a rough also understand how those organisations cantimescale. They should keep on top of it, as it help and how a victim can access support fromneeds to be dealt with at the beginning and not those organisations. There needs to beleft to run on. It would just be good to have some improvement in communicating to victims whatreassurance that something’s going to be done is happening regarding their case.and for them to stick to what they say they’ll do –because they don’t. They also need to make sure There also needs to be effective publicity towe are kept in the loop with what’s happening. ensure that the public are aware of partnershipOften we have to keep ringing them and chasing working around anti-social behaviour, and tothings up. Why should I have to chase them?” ensure that the public understand that non- police agencies also view anti-social behaviour as a priority. If more victims were aware of the support available for them, then more would be likely to report incidents.Case studyVictim Support was commissioned byGreenfields Housing Association, BraintreeDistrict Council and the police to provide an anti-social behaviour support service to vulnerableand repeat victims of anti-social behaviour in theBraintree district. Funding was obtained from theEssex Community Foundation to run the servicefor a two year period.The service aims to fully train volunteers toprovide emotional support, to explore thevictim’s needs, and to identify what options maybe open to victims. If required, volunteerscan contact relevant agencies on behalf of thevictim. Volunteers can also provide practicalsupport, such as helping victims to completeinsurance forms and supporting victims shouldthey need to attend meetings to discuss theircase. The volunteer will continue to offer supportfor as long as it is needed.ConclusionsThe police and other agencies are beginning towork together to reduce anti-social behaviour inEssex, however, the public is not fully aware ofthese initiatives. Raising public awareness wouldimprove confidence and satisfaction.Systems need to target resources to ensure thatreported incidents continue not to be taken in 14
  15. 15. 4.2. Victims of domestic abuse creation of multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs) and independentWhat is domestic abuse? domestic violence advisors (IDVAs) has led to improvements in the services victims receive.‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violenceor abuse [psychological, physical, sexual, financial The domestic abuse charity Co-ordinated Actionor emotional] between adults who are or have Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) estimates thatbeen intimate partners or family members, for every £1 spent on MARACs at least £6 ofregardless of gender or sexuality.’ 10 public money can be saved on direct costs to agencies every year. 13 This represents potentialDomestic abuse is not a type of crime in itself but savings to the public purse of a national MARACdescribes the context in which types of crime can programme are over £740m annually, although itoccur. The types of crime most commonly should be acknowledged there have been calls‘flagged’ by police as domestic abuse when for further research to verify these figures.victims are referred to Victim Support are actualbodily harm, common assault and harassment. The government’s Action Plan to End Violence against Women and Girls, published in MarchThe British Crime Survey 2010/11 includes a self- 2011, contains 35 wide-ranging proposals, whichcompletion module on intimate violence. This require partnership working with and betweencovers emotional, financial and physical abuse by government departments. It is too early topartners or family members, as well as sexual comment on the effectiveness of the action plan,assaults and stalking experienced by 16-59 year- but a review of IDVAs in 2009 estimated thatolds. there were less than half the number of trained advisors needed to give adequate coverage for allWomen are more likely than men to have high risk cases in the UK. Research undertakenexperienced all types of intimate violence. for this report indicates that there are still gaps.Overall, 30 per cent of women and 17 per cent of This is a continuing cause for concern. 14men had experienced domestic violence sincethe age of 16. These figures were equivalent to an A recurring theme in our conversations withestimated 4.8 million female and 2.8 million 16- victims of domestic abuse was that their first59 year-old male victims of domestic violence in experiences with a support agency were a keyEngland and Wales. 11 factor in determining whether they would continue with any action that had been initiated,In addition 7% cent of women and 5% of men and whether they would report any futurereported having experienced domestic violence the last year, equivalent to an estimated 1.2million female and 800,000 male victims inEngland and Wales. 12Much has changed in how the police and otheragencies view victims of domestic abuse. The Domestic abuse in Essex Data produced by Essex Police show that in the10 Home Office rolling year to March 2012, there were 29,00011 Victim Support analysis based on Home Office: Research, domestic abuse incidents, of which 2,704 wereDevelopment and Statistics Directorate and BMRB, SocialResearch, British Crime Survey; 2010-11, Colchester, Essex: assessed as high risk.UK Data Archive [distributor]. Crown copyright material isreproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO What else do we know about victims of domesticand the Queens Printer for Scotland. abuse in Essex12 Victim Support analysis based on Home Office: Research,Development and Statistics Directorate and BMRB, Social 13Research, British Crime Survey; 2010-11, Colchester, Essex: CAADA, 2010 14UK Data Archive [distributor]. Crown copyright material is Safety in Numbers – A Multi-site Evaluation ofreproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO Independent Violence advisor Services, CAADA 2009and the Queens Printer for Scotland. 15
  16. 16. is to investigate and to offer immediate and long-Essex has a multi-agency Domestic Abuse term support to those most at risk.Strategy Group. This is responsible forcoordinating and implementing domestic abuse Support for victim of domestic abuse in Essexstrategies across the county, including Southendand Thurrock. Stakeholders expressed concern that funding cuts were further impacting on already stretchedThere are also several domestic abuse services in resources and capacity to support victims. OneEssex. These include Independent Domestic service was reviewing the future of its outreachViolence Advisors (IDVAs) who are managed by service, for example. Other services have had toVictim Support. Other service providers, exclude victims from outside their local authorityincluding women’s refuge organisations, provide area. There are currently womens’ refuges inemotional and practical support to domestic Basildon, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester,abuse victims. Harlow, Southend and Thurrock.IDVAs provide proactive independent support to A full outreach support service is available forvictims. Their referrals are received from Essex male victims in Southend. In addition, SouthendPolice. IDVAs conduct risk assessments, carry out also has another service which supports malesafety planning, and facilitate effective victims of domestic abuse, but this service haspartnership working with multi-agencies capacity to take referrals from across Essex.throughout the victims engagement with thecriminal justice process. IDVAs also provide Further concerns were raised by stakeholdersadvice, information and support to victims of that domestic abuse forums (cross sectordomestic violence. partnerships to ensure support) do not provide Essex-wide coverage. These forums are currentlyThere are 6 Multi-Agency Risk Assessment only available in Southend, Castlepoint andConferences (MARACs) in Essex. These meet Rochford, Chelmsford and in Colchester. Othertwice a month because of the high volume of forums have either folded or have beencases. This high volume impacts on all agencies, incorporated into other forums.but impacts upon the IDVA service. Due tocapacity constraints the IDVA service is unable to Other support issues raised by stakeholdersfully meet the service demands of all cases at included the lack of locally availableMARACs . At present, Essex IDVAs are only able accommodation for victims who need to moveto support about 600 of the over 2000 high risk on from a refuge, and the lack of provision forvictim cases presented to Essex MARACs each women with no recourse to public funds, such asyear. Zimbabwean women.IDVAs attend every MARAC and aim to provide One stakeholder highlighted that there needs tosafety advice and expertise for all cases discussed. be more support available for women fromA recent Department of Health report has Eastern Europe or for British women with Easthighlighted lack of IDVA capacity as a major European partners. Many of these womenissue. reportedly experience high levels of domestic abuse.Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse(CAADA) estimates that Essex should have Feedback from victims of domestic abuse inbetween 18 and 20 IDVAs in order to meet the Essexcurrent service demands of high risk cases heardat MARACs. Essex has 5.5 full-time equivalent Many victims we spoke to reported that theIDVAs and a part-time team leader who is police had responded quickly and dealt with theemployed by Victim Support. Essex Police has a situation quickly. One victim, however, said thatteam of around 40 specially trained officers the police only made an arrest, and acted quickly,called Domestic Abuse Liaison Officers. Their role after she had called them for the third time. Another victim said that the police control room 16
  17. 17. kept talking to her son about what to do and emotional support and practical help. IDVAs alsocontinued to talk to him until the police arrived. plan the immediate and long-term safety ofVictims we spoke with had received good victims, and signpost to other agencies. .support from voluntary organisations. All victimssaid that the support of voluntary organisations Automatic referrals are made by IDVAs to thewas important immediately after the crime and in Health Visiting Service if a domestic abuse victimthe long-term. They felt that the police should be has children under five years old, and are madebetter at communicating case progress. to Children, Schools and Families (CSF) if the victim has children under the age of 18. Local knowledge and contacts are essential for an IDVA in order to refer victims to area specific organisations. Victims of domestic abuse are referred to a MARAC if they have been identifiedCase study as being at high or very high risk of serious injury or death. Many of the actions from MARACs areA female victim of domestic abuse had a mixed for the IDVA, and the IDVA attends MARACexperienced with the police. Her partner was not meetings to act as the ‘voice of the victim’.arrested until after the third incident. ConclusionsThe victim said that she received emotional andpractical support from Victim Support, who Communication with victims about their cases byhelped her get a restraining order. She felt she all agencies should be improved to keep themhad been well supported by an Independent fully informed of case progression. Demand ofDomestic Violence Adviser: services in response to domestic abuse incidents in Essex is extremely high. This demand is not"She was my light at the end of the tunnel". fully met by existing services. A recently produced CAADA report recommends that EssexShe also had support from a domestic abuse needs over 18 IDVAs if it is to cover high riskproject. This support made her realise that cases at MARACs alone 15 . Funding for andomestic abuse was not her fault: increased number of IDVAs needs to be strategically reviewed and resolved as a matter of“(It was) nice to have someone I could talk to, urgency.without being judged. I never felt like I was beingjudged. She cared, she listened and she There is a large amount of research and literaturesupported me.” on the needs of victims of domestic violence, and this report cannot fully reflect the evidence itThe victim had a positive overall view of her case provides. Further investigation of the issuesand of the support she received from the police highlighted here, and thorough consultation withand other agencies, as her partner was found both victims and local service providers from allguilty. Her only criticism was that, because of her sectors, will be essential for providing the policefinancial situation, she was unable to get a non- and crime commissioner with a comprehensivemolestation order. picture of the needs of victims of domestic abuse in Essex.Case studyThe Essex IDVA service provides support to highand very high risk victims of domestic abuse who 15 CAADA (2010) Saving Lives, Saving Money London:are fully engaged in the criminal justice process. CAADAEach IDVA predominately provides face-to-face   17
  18. 18. 4.3. Victims of sexual violence response of police officers need to change and rape needs to be treated more seriously; theyWhat is sexual violence? wanted a greater investment in ensuring that the police provide a believing, sensitive andIn this report, ‘sexual violence’ refers to the full consistent response.” 18range of sexual offences recorded by the HomeOffice. 16 Since this review was undertaken, the number of rape crisis centres and sexual assault referralSexual violence can affect people of all ages, centres in England and Wales has increased. Thegenders, sexual preferences and cultures. Essex Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) opened in 2011.The British Crime Survey 2010/11 includes a self-completion module on intimate violence. This Police and criminal justice responses to victims ofcovers emotional, financial and physical abuse by serious sexual violence have increasedpartners or family members, as well as sexual considerably.assaults and stalking experienced by adults aged16 to 59. Nationwide, many forces now have specially trained police officers (STOs) to act as a linkNineteen per cent of women and two per cent of between the victim and the investigation team,men reported having experienced sexual assault and to attend court with the victim.(including attempts) since the age of 16. Inaddition, around three per cent of women and Many areas also have independent sexualone per cent of men had experienced some form violence advisors (ISVAs) who operate in a similarof sexual assault (including attempts) in the last fashion to independent domestic violenceyear. advisors (IDVAs), but their numbers are far fewer.For a variety of reasons, sexual violence often In addition to these changes, all agenciesgoes unreported. recognise that there is still room for improvement.The government response to Baroness Stern’s2010 review of how rape complaints are handledby public authorities in England and Walesobserved that “despite progress in recent years, itis estimated that up to nine in ten cases of rapego unreported and 38 per cent of serious sexual Sexual violence in Essexassault victims tell no one about theirexperience.” 17 The 2010/11 British Crime Survey reported that there were 1,440 recorded sexual offences inResearch such as the 2009 Rape Experience Essex. This reflects an increase of 14% on theReview by then Victims’ Champion Sara Payne previous year. 19highlights the importance to victims of the firstresponse they receive when they disclose an What else do we know about sexual violence inoffence, whether to the police or anyone else: Essex“The women I spoke to were clear that if they are Essex’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC),not treated with dignity when first reporting rape, ’Oakwood Place’ is based in Brentwood. Itit is unlikely they would continue to support aprosecution. Women felt that the attitudes and 18 Rape: The Victim Experience Review, Sara Payne, November 2009 1916 Victim Support analysis based on Home Office: Research,research-statistics/research-statistics/crime- Development and Statistics Directorate and BMRB, Socialresearch/counting-rules/count-sexual?view=Binary Research, British Crime Survey; 2010-11, as above.17   The Government Response to the Stern Review, March2011 18
  19. 19. manages both police and self referrals. The SARC Victim Support also provides a pan-Essex serviceincludes forensic medical examination facilities to all victims of sexual violence and their families,and onward referrals to Independent Sexual which is further enhanced by specialist trainedViolence Advisers (ISVAs). volunteers. The Witness Service, which is managed by Victim Support, provides supportEssex Police has recently established a Public through the courts. Victim Support is the onlyProtection Command which focuses on the voluntary agency which supports male of vulnerable adults and children and There is currently no male ISVA, yet availablethe policing of dangerous offenders. The data showed that Essex currently has around 100Command includes a 70-strong team of detective male victims.officers dedicated to the investigation of serioussexual crime. The new Sexual Offence Feedback from victims of sexual violence in EssexInvestigation Team, assisted by the multi-agencySARC, aims to improve the investigation of Victims of sexual violence we spoke withserious sexual offences and the service that is emphasised the importance of feeling believedprovided to victims, to take effective action when they made an initial report. Without this,against offenders, and to improve the detection they felt it would have been unlikely they couldrate of serious sexual offences. continue to engage with services. One victim said that she would have liked someone to helpSupport for victims of sexual violence in Essex her report rather than just give her the number for services who could provide her withThere are services available from a number of independent supportproviders: Victims also felt that it was important to haveCARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) is their options explained to them carefully. Theypart of Rape Crisis and is a confidential support emphasised that victims of domestic abuseservice run by women for women, children and should not be pressurised into making decisions.young people of both genders under the age of They also said that there needs to be long-term19 who have suffered any form of sexual support available, to help domestic abuse victimsviolence, past or present. They provide formal with ongoing needs.counselling for rape and sexual assault, includingchild sexual abuse. They also offer an advocacy Victims we spoke with had mixed feelings aboutservice and can accompany women to the police, the police because of the manner in which theyto court, to the GUM clinic, or to other meetings had been dealt with and because of the level ofif they request it. CARA services are limited to understanding shown to them. There was broadmid and north east areas of Essex. consensus among them that the initial service from the police was good. However, they all feltSERICC (South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis let down by a lack of, or poor, communicationCentre) covers the areas of Thurrock, Basildon regarding their case. This led to feelings ofand Brentwood. It provides a service to women frustration and isolation. Victims were also keenand girls over 13 years old who have been raped, to emphasise how helpful and necessaryhave been sexually assaulted, have experienced independent support was. As well as providingchild sexual abuse, have experienced sexual them with emotional support, independentharassment, or who have experienced any form support services helped them practically, forof sexual violence or attempted sexual assault. example by helping them to access services suchThe service includes advocacy, counselling and as the sexual health clinic and refugesupport. SERICC is funded until March 2013 for ISVA post covering the areas of Thurrock,Basildon and Brentwood.Victim Support is funded until March 2013 toemploy two full time ISVAs. Most Victim Supportreferrals are currently received via the SARC. 19
  20. 20. Case study them deal with criminal justice agencies. Communication with victims about their casesA woman in her 20s was in a violent relationship needs to be improved so that victims are fullywith a drug addict. The police had advised the informed of case progression and fullywoman to leave him but she was too scared understand what will happen and why. It is alsoabout what he might do if she tried to do so. important that victims of sexual violence whoOne day, he raped her. experience domestic abuse are able to access domestic abuse services.When she called the police not long afterwards,they took twenty minutes to arrive. They referredher to SERRIC, told the perpetrator to leave, andgave her more advice about leaving:“It’s not that easy though. I was bad with stressand I was in debt thanks to him.”She said it was important to her to have supportgroups, to have peer support, to be with peoplewho would understand her. She said she neededspecialised support to help her understand herfeelings, and to make her realise that her reactionwas normal. She is also aware that specialistcounselling is not always so readily available forpeople with historic cases of sexual abuse, andfeels that it should be. She feels that the policedid try to help her but that they could haveprovided her with more information andsupport.Case studyOakwood Place Sexual Assault Referral Centre isrun by G4S and supports all individuals in Essexwho disclose a rape or sexual assault. Thisincludes male and female children, young peopleand adults. It carries out examinations inforensically clean suites, enabling victims tochoose an examination without policeinvolvement, and also provides a service forpeople who have reported to the police. Thispartnership involves health, police, social careand agencies such as SERICC.ConclusionsEssex only has three ISVAs, which falls far short ofDepartment of Health recommendations. Theyare currently unable to respond to all SARC cases.Victims we spoke with emphasised that victims ofsexual violence need someone to talk to, whocan also provide them with options and help 20
  21. 21. 4.4. People bereaved by murder and This called for, among other things: manslaughter  A dedicated casework service to help [bereavedWhat are murder and manslaughter? families] with practical problems and support families in the early weeks and months followingMurder and manslaughter are defined as: a bereavement. Where aspects of a case include complex and specialist areas of law, there should murder be arrangements in place for families to access manslaughter and additional assistance. infanticide.  Trauma and bereavement counselling as necessary.This report also considers the needs of those  An offer of peer support through a nationalbereaved as a result of culpable road traffic network of peer support/self help.incidents.  Age-appropriate services for children. 22The local data available on services for thosebereaved by murder and manslaughter, includingservices for those bereaved as a result of culpableroad traffic incidents, has been limited becausemost services we mapped deliver on a national Murder and manslaughter in Essexrather than on a local basis. In 2010/11, there were 13 recorded homicides inFor example, the charity Brake is a national Essex, which amounts to 7.5 offences per millionprovider of emotional support, information, help population, compared to 11.5 offences perand advocacy to people bereaved and seriously million population in England and Wales.injured in road crashes. This is delivered througha UK-wide helpline and via partnerships with Support for people bereaved by murder andpolice family liaison officers, who distribute manslaughter in EssexBrake’s support packs for people bereaved inroad crashes, Advice for family and friends In line with national requirements for cases offollowing a death on the road 20 . Brake’s packs and homicide, Essex Police provides a Family Liaisonhelpline offer emotional comfort, guidance on Officer (FLO) throughout the investigation of thepractical matters, and signpost to further sources death. The FLO provides a point of contactof support, including locally available help. between the family and the police. The Victim Support Homicide Service will be notified of theWe have tried to include all services accessible to case within 24 hours and a homicide case workervictims in Essex, but may have missed some of will be assigned to the family within 72 hours.them. The case worker’s primary role is to support the family.We did not hold focus groups or interviews withpeople bereaved by murder and manslaughter. Victim Support’s Homicide Service is a nationallyInstead, the project has referred to the 2011 managed service, comprised of five teams andreport by the former Commissioner for Victims based in five locations around England andand Witnesses, Louise Casey, on services for Wales. Each team consists of a team leader, fivesecondary victims of murder and manslaughter. 21 case workers and a support worker. There is a National Homicide Manager, completing the20 team of 36. These packs are produced by Brake and funded by theMinistry of Justice for use by families bereaved by roadcrashes in England and Wales. Support literature for The police notify the Service of a case within 24bereaved children, serious injury victims, and those affected hours. A homicide case worker will be assignedby road death in other parts of the UK is available fromBrake.21 22 Review into the Needs of Families Bereaved by Homicide, Review into the Needs of Families Bereaved by Homicide,Louise Casey CB, July 2011 Louise Casey CB, July 2011 21
  22. 22. to the family within 72 hours. Their primary role Conclusionsis to support the family. On receiving a referral, ahomicide caseworker carries out a needs Other than Victim Support’s Homicide Service,assessment and begins to support the bereaved there are very few services supporting thoseperson and family members in a variety of ways. bereaved by homicide in Essex. Although theThey often initially provide practical support, number of homicides in Essex is low, the impactsuch as helping to arrange the funeral, meeting of homicide can affect more than just one or twowith the police, and helping to arrange child care members of the family. Further research into theand benefits. As the relationship between the demand and capacity of services working in thisbereaved and the caseworker develops, they area is needed, particularly with regard to accesstypically provide more emotional support. The to counselling, therapy and support for childrencaseworker can also commission a number of and young people.specialist interventions in response to individualneeds, such as trauma support and support forbereaved children. The homicide service was thefirst service that Victim Support developed androlled out as a national rather than regionalservice.The Victim Focus Scheme is offered to all familiespost charge of an offender. This gives the familyan opportunity to meet with the CrownProsecution Service (CPS) and receive legaladvice in relation to their case. The Tell Us Oncescheme is also operational in Essex. It means thatfamilies are able to notify multiple local andnational agencies of a death just once. The LegalAdvice Line is also currently piloting a scheme tooffer support to those bereaved by homicide sothey can access free legal advice.There are a limited number of local servicesoperating in Essex supporting those bereaved byhomicide. Cruse Essex provides counselling foradults, children and young people. There arealso a number of independent providers ofbereavement counselling and support groupsacross Essex who offer support to bereavedpeople. However, these are not specifically forpeople affected by murder and manslaughter.Stakeholders have also told us that access tomental health services and trauma basedtherapies can be difficult. The Road Victims Trustprovides support for individuals and familiesaffected by fatal road collisions and will supportunder 16s as part of a family group. 22
  23. 23. 4.5. Victims of hate crime was that the boundaries between antisocial behaviour and hate crime can be blurred. It isWhat is hate crime? important that victims are treated according to their individual needs, rather than according to a‘Any criminal offence which is perceived, by the crime category which they appear to fit into.victim or any other person, to be motivated by ahostility or prejudice based on a personal It is hoped that some of these issues will becharacteristic.’ 23 addressed by the Home Office hate crime action plan, ‘Challenge it, Report it, Stop it’ published inIn 2007, the police, Crown Prosecution Service March 2012. This outlines the new national(CPS), Prison Service (now the National Offender strategy for tackling hate crime by throughManagement Service) and other agencies that focussing on prevention, early intervention andmake up the criminal justice system agreed a improving the response to victims. Aiming,common definition of monitored hate crime to among other things, to achieve better multicover five ‘strands,’ in particular – disability, agency working to identify and support victims,gender-identity, race, religion/faith and sexual and to reduce the grey area between ASB andorientation. Primarily, this was to ensure a hate crime, the strategy includes the followingconsistent working definition to allow accurate actions:recording and monitoring. 24  working with police forces, councils andHate crime can have a huge impact on victims – housing providers to improve handling ofnot only because of how the incident itself has public calls about anti-social behaviour, toaffected the person, but also because bringing identify possible hate crime and victims atthe offenders to justice can involve the victim riskhaving to reveal very personal and private  publishing risk assessment tools that allowaspects of their life. police and other call handlers to identify victims of hate crime earlier in the reporting”They were calling me the usual names like process’speccy‘ and I tried to ignore it because it’s notworth it. But when they threw the brick – that’s  engaging with communities at risk of hatetoo far.” 25 crime to raise awareness of the law on hate crime, and increase reportingHate crime does not only affect the targeted  putting Safeguarding Adults Boards on aindividual. It affects victims’ families and the statutory footing, to increase the awareness,wider community, and can lead to further detection and prevention of abuse andviolence and aggressive behaviour. exploitation of adults in vulnerable circumstances.Hate crime was included in the victims’ servicesadvocates project’s work when our initial In 2010, 47, 229 hate crimes were recorded bymapping of local services showed that providers police forces in England and Wales. Of these:across England and Wales were concerned thatvictims of this crime were still under-recognised  38,670 were racist crimes;and under-supported.  4,736 were based on sexual orientation;A particular issue that emerged from our focus  1,959 were religious hate crimes;groups and interviews across England and Wales  1,512 targeted disabled people; and  352 targeted transgender people2623 Challenge it, Report it, Stop it: The Government’s Plan toTackle Hate Crime. HM Government, March 2012 Hate crime is believed to be under-reported 27 .24 Challenge it, Report it, Stop it: The Government’s Plan toTackle Hate Crime. HM Government, March 201225 Quote from victim (Equality and Human Rights 26Commission report, ‘Promoting the safety and security of ACPO (2011) Recorded Hate Crime Data for 2010 fordisabled people’, 2009). England, Wales and Northern Ireland: 23