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  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 change.protection. 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 victims.by 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. 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. 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.  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. 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. 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. 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. 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 8%.to 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 2010/11.by 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. 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 support.place. 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. 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. 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 incidents.in 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. 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. 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. 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 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science- 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. 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 victims.protection 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 accommodation.one 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. 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. 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. 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. 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: http://www.report- it.org.uk/files/acpo_hate_crime_data_for_2010.pdf 23
  • 24. Hate crime in Essex The website, called True Vision, is supported by all forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.Hate crime is believed to be under-reported. 28 One of the key aims of the Essex Policing Plan forThe 2010/11 29 British Crime Survey estimates 2012 is to continue to raise officer and staffthat there were 65.92 incidents of personal hate awareness of transgender issues.crime per 10,000 population in Essex, whichequates to approximately 931 incidents in total. One of the priorities of Thurrock’s CommunityBy comparison, the national incidence rate is Safety Partnership strategy for 2011-14 is tackling78.62 per 10,000 population. The British Crime hate crime.Survey counts all incidents both reported andunreported.Essex Police figures report that between January2010 and January 2011, there were 1,019incidents of hate crime 30 . It is estimated that hate Support for victims of hate crime in Essexcrime in Essex is under reported, thereforecaution should be exercised when looking at Essex Police has a team of nine Hate Crimethese figures as a true representation of hate Officers (HCOs) that co-ordinate the policecrime in Essex. response to hate crime. The team, led by a detective sergeant in the InvestigationsWhat else do we know about hate crime in Essex Command (based at HQ) is based around Essex in investigations hubs. The team does not carryThe Essex Independent Advisory Group includes an investigations caseload but reviewsrepresentatives from across the whole county investigations, assisting where their specialistand has an independent Chair. It brings together knowledge is required. They co-ordinatepeople from a wide demographic who can appropriate protective and preventativeprovide expert knowledge to help police measures, particularly for vulnerable or repeatoperational officers and domestic abuse and hate victims. They also have a key role in linking withcrime units build trust and confidence within the partner agencies and in developing preventioncommunity. The group offers advice and strategies in hate crime hotspots. All responses topractical feedback on subjects of race, faith, hate incidents are based upon assessments of riskdisability, travellers, lesbian, gay, bisexual and of threat and harm in relation to the victim. Initialtransgender people, vulnerable and older people. risk assessments are completed by the first officer attending and are reviewed at all stages by theOne of the key 2012 – 2016 Essex Police Equality HCOs.Objectives is to improve the reporting anddetection rates of their Hate Crime Service. Essex Essex Police responds to individual hate incidentsPolice have launched a new way for victims of and hate crime in a manner that works positivelyhate crime to report hate crime incidents online. towards the stated goals of the government Hate Crime Action Plan. It aims to prevent hate crime by challenging the attitudes that underpin it, and27 Challenge it, Report it, Stop it: The Government’s Plan to by early intervention. It also aims to increaseTackle Hate Crime. HM Government, March 2012 reporting and access to support, by building victim confidence and supporting local28 Home Office (2012) Challenge it, Report it, Stop it: The partnerships. Finally, it aims to improve theGovernment’s Plan to Tackle Hate Crime London: HM operational response to hate crimes by betterGovernment identification and management of cases, and by29 Victim Support analysis based on Home Office: Research,Development and Statistics Directorate and BMRB, Social dealing effectively with the offenders. EssexResearch, British Crime Survey; 2010-11, as above. Police has a Hate Crime Unit. Essex Racial Equality Council no longer exists.30 Figures from Essex Police Performance Information Unit  This means that there is no longer a dedicated 24
  • 25. organisation for BME Hate Crime reporting. police for the crime to be recognised and forThere are a number of voluntary organisations action to be taken. The introduction of thirdwho act as third party reporting centres for hate party reporting for hate crime in Essex changedcrime, and who provide emotional support to this. Victims, witnesses, and other people canvictims of hate crime. now report hate crime to a third party reporting centre. These centres can then pass on thisFeedback from victims of hate crime in Essex information to the police on the victim’s behalf, if requested. The police are then required to act onThe Essex Coalition of Disabled People report this as if they had received the report‘Disability Hate Crime, Lived Experience’ 31 reports directly. Any person living or working in Essexthat disabled people they consulted with were can contact Proactive Diversity and report anyunclear about what disability hate crime is, and hate crime they have experienced or witnessed.were unclear what services there were to support The organisation has a trained member of staffthem. A young disabled man, for example, who who will listen to the caller in a sensitive andhad been ‘bullied’ told the coalition that he had understanding manner.been called names and sworn at and thenpunched. When he challenged this behaviour, hewas threatened with a knife. This was a hatecrime incident but he and his school consideredit to be bullying. Other disabled people theyspoke with did not feel that ‘everyday’ Case studyexperiences were significant enough to beconsidered hate crime: The Essex Coalition of Disabled People report, “It didnt feel like a serious enough incident to do ‘Disability Hate Crime, Lived Experience’anything about it”. concluded that there is a general lack of understanding of the complex issues surroundingProactive Diversity, an organisation that provides disability hate crime. Consulted disabled peoplesupport for victims of hate crime in Essex, told us were unclear about the definition of disabilitythat, as in the rest of the country, hate crime is hate crime and what services there were tounder-reported in Essex. Although many clients support them. There are few services for disabledof the organisation are hate crime victims, they victims of hate crime in Essex, and very fewoften do not report an incident as a hate crime services are able to direct disabled people towhen they contact the police. Proactive Diversity these hate crime services. The reportsaid that this means Essex figures and other recommended that a user-led organisation,available statistics on hate crime are flawed. The working with and for disabled people, shouldorganisation raises awareness of what hate crime work in partnership with organisations - such asis, and raises awareness of the importance of Essex Police and the CPS - that havereporting hate crime. It encourages people to responsibility for hate crime.feel comfortable about reporting hate crime. Conclusions As elsewhere in England, the number of reported hate crimes remains low in Essex. However, this is not an indication of the true level of hate crimeCase study in the county. Further research of hate crime in Essex is necessary. Essex Police is committed toProactive Diversity is a third-party reporting improving the reporting and detection rates ofcentre for hate crime in Essex. Until recently, a hate crime. Stakeholders told us that victims arevictim of hate crime had to report directly to the often confused about what hate crime is. It is important that all agencies raise awareness of31 what hate crime is so that victims are able to Essex Coalition of Disabled People ‘Disability Hate Crime, recognise if they have been a hate crime victimLived experience report’ 25
  • 26. and so that victims feel confident they will besupported if they report a hate crime.There are also a number of voluntaryorganisations in Essex who provide emotionalsupport to victims of hate crime and act as thirdparty reporting centres. Much of the currentsupport available is subject to short-term limitedfunding or year-on-year renewal. This bringsuncertainty and does not allow for long-termplanning. Community based services for victimsand third party reporting opportunities help toincrease the confidence of hate crime victims andto encourage greater reporting. 26
  • 27. 4.6. Young victims of crime and repeat victimisation if they speak about what has happened to them. Those in same sexThe British Crime Survey estimated that there relationships are reluctant to report for fear ofwere 878,000 crimes affecting 10-15 year-olds in homophobia from classmates or teachers. 37England and Wales in 2010/11. Of these, two-thirds (576,000) were violent crimes (77 per cent Victim Support’s 2007 report, Hoodie or Goodie,of which resulted in injury to the victim, mainly highlighted the fact that young victims andminor bruising or black eyes). Most of the other young offenders are often one and the same. Thisthird (275,000) were thefts of personal property. link is particularly prominent where violence isA much smaller number of children (27,000) involved. This report recommended that youngexperienced vandalism of personal property. victims have equal access to effective support services, and they should be aware of the servicesOver a third of all reported rapes (36%) are available. 38against children under 16 years old, 32 and one insix teenage girls reported intimate partner Without a clear idea of the protection available,violence. 33 young people will often keep quiet. 39 When they do speak up about their experiences, they areIndirect victimisation is also common among more likely to tell their peers than an adult.children and young people. In a recent study, Although peer support and counselling schemesalmost one in five young people (22% of girls and have been established in a number of UK13.5% of boys) said they had experienced cyber schools, their remit does not always extendbullying. 34 Given the widespread use of social beyond bullying. 40networking, this type of crime can be especiallydifficult to police or prevent. Catch 22 found 41 that young victims need help in three main areas:Though many young people are affected bycrime, they are less likely than adults to report it,  feeling unsafe after reporting a crimeseeing it more ‘as a fact of life’ 35 .  dealing with living around the offender after the crimeA 2011 study of young people’s experience of the  lacking confidence and feeling unable to trustpolice and criminal justice system by the charity others.Catch 22 found particular barriers to youngpeople reporting crime, including: It recommended that a variety of support be made available to young victims, from updates lack of trust in the police and information from the police to intensive tensions between young people and the mentoring and counselling. police fear of being perceived as ‘a grass’ or fear of retaliation. 36Crime perpetrated in school can be difficult toidentify and to address as teachers are not alwaystrained to deal with issues beyond bullying.Young people can be vulnerable to further abuse32 Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls, Home 37Office, November 2010 NSPCC 200933 38 NSPCC, 2009 Victim Support (2007) Hoodie or Goodie London: Victim34 O’Brien, N., Moules, T. and Walker, S. (2011) The Impact of Support 39Cyber Bullying on Mental Health London: NSPCC and Firmin, C . (2011) This is it, This is my life: Female Voice inAnglia Ruskin University Violence London: ROTA35 40 NSPCC, 2009 NSPCC 200936 41 Catch 22 (2001) What works: Developing a welfare Catch 22 (2001) What works: Developing a welfareapproach to supporting young victims. London: Catch 22 approach to supporting young victims. London: Catch 22 27
  • 28. Children and young people as victims of crime in experienced by adults (67%) take place during theEssex evening or at night.Figures from Essex Constabulary show that for The report also shows that around 14% of all2010/11 there were 5,639 young victims of crime violent incidents against 10 to 15 year olds areaged 17 or under 42 . reported to the police. This is lower than the equivalent figure for adults (41%). This is largelyWhat else do we know about young victims in because children and young people also reportEssex to non-police persons, such as teachers. Indeed, the majority of violent incidents that occur in orAs laid out in its 2012 policing plan, Essex Police around school, for example, are reported byis committed to reducing the number of young children to a teacher.victims of crime by promoting positiverelationships with young people and by ensuring Support for young victims in Essexthat appropriate enforcement is in place toreduce the risk of offending and re-offending. It Victim Support has volunteers who have beenhas dedicated youth officers in each local specially trained to work directly with youngauthority area, whose role is to improve victims, but there are very few other servicesengagement with young people. which provide specific support to children and young people as victims. Some services forThe national report ‘Hate crime, cyber security young people provide help and support on issuesand the experience of crime among children: such as crime, sexuality, relationships andfindings from the 2010/11 British Crime Survey’ 43 employment. Such support was previouslyshowed that the majority of violent incidents provided by Essex Connexions, which closed inexperienced by children aged between 10 and 15 July 2011. A limited support service is nowtake place in or around school (56%), with 36% of provided by Essex County Council.incidents taking place outside the schoolbuilding, and 19% of incidents taking place inside Victim Support also provides a number of otherthe school building. The report also showed that services in Essex, which support children and16% of incidents occur around the home and young people. These include the Essex Young13% occur in a park or in a common or open Witness Project, which supports many child andspace. Most violent incidents experienced by young person victims, who are also witnesses.adults, by contrast, occur on the street (30%) oraround the home (26%), with only 8% takingplace around work. This reflects the differentlifestyles of children and adults. The report alsoshowed that around nine in ten violent incidentsexperienced by children take place on a weekday Case study(89%). Three quarters of incidents (76%) takeplace during the daytime on a weekday, with 13% Rather than seeking to interview young peopletaking place on a weekday evening. This again directly about their experience of crime as part ofcontrasts with the experiences of adults, where this project, a scenario was used to create aaround half (55%) of incidents occur during the context for a discussion. The scenario used inweek. While the majority (88%) of violent discussions nationally involved “Alex“, who wasincidents experienced by 10 to 15 year olds take attacked by a group of boys as he was standing atplace during daylight, the majority of incidents a bus stop. He was knocked to the ground and suffered a cut lip, and his mobile phone was stolen. The young people were asked what action42 Figures from Essex Police Performance Information Unit  they would take if this happened to them and what support they would need.43 Hate crime, cyber security and the experience of crimeamong children: Findings from the 2010/11 British Crime The scenario elicited a number of responsesSurvey across the country. These included a reluctance 28
  • 29. to involve the police and some anxiety that theymight not be taken seriously. If the police werecalled the hope was expressed that they wouldattend promptly. The possibility of the policegiving details of where support could be foundwas welcomed. The need for emotional supportwas also mentioned. A range of sources ofsupport were identified, with friends and familyfeaturing most prominently.Case studyVictim Support provides a number of locallybased and limited funded services in Essex,including the Essex Young Witness Project. Thisservice provides support and preparation foryoung people in Essex required to attend thecriminal courts as a victim or witness to a crimeand is available to all witnesses attendingcrown or magistrates court who are aged 17 orunder. Many of these young witnesses arealso victims of crime. Giving evidence can bea distressing and traumatic experience for youngwitnesses, and the service supports youngwitnesses by providing them with speciallytrained volunteers. The service informs youngwitnesses about what is likely to happen in court,explains the role of court professionals, andexplains the process of trials. The service aims toenable young witnesses to find ways of coping,and aims to help them to feel as comfortable andprepared as possible for when they giveevidence.ConclusionsThere are limited specialist services for youngvictims in Essex. Further research is required tohelp commissioning agents understand whatresources should be provided to support youngvictims of crime in the county. Research fromother counties showed that young people oftenfeel that they are perceived as offenders ratherthan as victims by the police. Young people thatwere spoken to generally felt that they wouldrather deal with a situation on their own thanreport it to the police. More work is required tobuild relationships with young people and toencourage them to deal with the police. 29
  • 30. given to developing an inclusive funding and commissioning strategy which values the importance of voluntary organisations and specialist services for particular crime types and for vulnerable victims.5. Issues identified and what can be done toaddress them 5.2 The Police and Crime Commissioner must ensure the sustainability of independentPolice and crime commissioners (PCCs) have a services for victims both in the immediateduty to obtain the views of victims of crime aftermath of a crime and for the longer termbefore producing their policing plan. through an outcome based approach. The PCC should work with other commissionersThey also have the potential to play a key role in in the county to ensure that appropriate,championing the needs of victims in their local relevant services are available to victims.area. They should prioritise services which are able to meet victims’ needs as they change andThis gives victims an unprecedented opportunity services which prevent escalation of risk.to have a real voice in influencing and shaping They should also encourage service providersthe services they receive at local level. to work together. Victims’ needs are not fixed, either in relation to crime types or inThis report builds on the considerable work relation to when they require support. As aalready done by partner organisations in Essex. It result, it is unlikely that one service providergives a snapshot rather than a forensic can ever fully meet the needs of a victim.examination of the service needs of victims in Recognising multiple needs and encouragingEssex, and there is room for further research. services to work together to meet these needs to reduce the risk that specialistWe hope that this evidence will encourage the services are not lost as a result ofincoming PCC for Essex to understand and commissioning processes.respond to the needs of victims in Essex, and toprioritise their needs accordingly. We propose Providers must be given sufficient time andthe following actions to address the issues capacity to develop effective sustainableidentified in this report: services, which improve the emotional and physical well-being of victims, enhance the independence of victims, and improve the life chances of victims. Investment should be based on an integrated approach, including early prevention and intervention projects,Proposed actions and services which support victims at the greatest risk of harm.5.1 The Police and Crime Commissioner should ensure that victims’ issues are prioritised by 5.3 The Police and Crime Commissioner should appointing a senior member of his/her team establish a Essex multi-agency victim hub. to be the ‘Essex Victims Champion’ This would provide a single on-going point of responsible for all aspects of victims services. contact for victims who are not automatically referred to or do not directly access other This role will include overseeing the agencies. The hub would outline options for development and sustainability of victims courses of action, provide updates on case services. The Victims Champion would progress and information about criminal ensure that there is effective consultation and justice processes, as well as providing a engagement with victims, so that services gateway to support services. understand the needs of victims and so that victims are fully informed on what services The hub would receive referrals from front- are available to help them. Priority should be line workers (for example. GPs, hospitals, 30
  • 31. local authorities and housing associations) takes priority. While rights and safeguards electronically and through a single ’Victims’ for offenders exist, little statutory provision is Line’ telephone number. It would receive self made for victims. The PCC must ensure that referrals and would refer to both statutory individual victims have the opportunity to and voluntary support organisations, whether talk about the impact of crime on their life. or not a crime had been reported. It would They must ensure that victims are given a provide information to victims about the voice in influencing the provision of services. support options available and information on criminal justice processes. The hub would have the facility to update victims on their cases, including the police investigation, court case progression and outcome of trials. • . It would agree timescales and methods for keeping victims informed.5.4 The Police and Crime Commissioner should invest in training and support for volunteer community resources to provide cost- effective support services and to reach victims in diverse communities and those with barriers to accessing services. Investment should be made to enable volunteers to receive structured accredited training so that victims have skilled and knowledgeable supporters. Many criminal justice system organisations have volunteer and community staff. Some of these organisations have well developed training programmes. Others operate with very limited funds. Roles could include emotional and practical support for victims, third party reporting, support at court, recording victims’ personal statements, restorative justice support and community resolution panels, and mystery shopping of services. Integrating roles and training would enhance skills and community involvement while ensuring that services remain high quality.5.5 The Police and Crime Commissioner must ensure that victims’ voices are heard. They must support increased use of measures such as victims’ personal statements and restorative justice programmes. They need to invest in victims’ advisory panels and ensure that the Essex VCS network is represented on these panels. Victims consistently state they feel they are the forgotten voice within the criminal justice system. They feel they often become a bystander in a process in which the offender 31
  • 32. Appendix 1: MethodologyThe Essex VSA used a variety of research methods and data to investigate issues explored in this report andaddress the overall aims of the project. These comprised qualitative and quantitative elements andinvolved conducting primary research and drawing on existing research (secondary research).Five methods of enquiry were employed:1. Mapping victim services in the local EssexThe first exercise we undertook in this project was to ‘map’ existing services available to victims in Essex.This was done to establish a baseline understanding of the local service landscape and to build a networkfor the victims’ services advocates to draw on throughout the rest of the project.We mapped provision for victims in each of the crime categories considered by this report, and furtherseparated these into the sub-categories of: statutory sector voluntary sector structures/partnerships (to include representative bodies such as local criminal justice boards or regular meetings of different agencies with a service focus, such as MARACs).We mapped services rather than organisations, in recognition of the fact that the same organisation canoffer a range of services. We only mapped services that explicitly supported victims as victims, rather thanthose that supported a wider client group in which victims might be highly represented. This was decidedin recognition of the limited time and capacity of the project but it is acknowledged that by defining thescope of the exercise in this way, some services may be missed, particularly for those victims who do notreport crime. Drugs and alcohol services are a possible example of this. We mapped services for witnessesof crime mainly where witnesses were also victims.We sought information on services including: geographical coverage summary of services offered (including who provides support to whom and whether there is a focus on a specific crime type) any restrictions on services available (e.g. only offer support to 11-15 year olds) client group referral routes number of clients supported local issues of concern sustainability (e.g. how long are they are funded for) current funding source.Not all the services mapped were willing to provide all the information requested; this was particularly trueof questions around funding. 32
  • 33. The mapping exercise was conducted by a mixture of phone and desk-based research, with somemeetings. It was mainly collected between June and August 2011 and ongoing updating of the mapscontinued on an ad hoc basis for the remainder of the project period.Many local stakeholders and organisations requested copies of the maps. The project steering groupagreed in January 2012 that the maps could be circulated with the more sensitive pieces of information,such as funding information and ‘local issues of concern’ removed.All services contained within the map were asked to confirm that the data contained about their servicesbefore the maps could be published. The maps are due to be published by the end of May 2012, again,with information on funding or ‘local issues of concern’ removed.There were a number of limitations to this element of our research, including: time-sensitiveness: the maps were initially baselined in early September 2011, since which time many services will have emerged, developed or reduced their activities, or ceased to operate, therefore the map can only offer a ‘snapshot’ in time and will quickly become out of date representing the full range of services: because completing the maps placed a call on the time of those services we contacted, or relied on information available online, it may have favoured larger organisations with the capacity to assist us or those with an online presence. This may mean that smaller organisations were not mapped significance of apparent ‘gaps’ in provision: many of the service providers we spoke to talked about gaps in provision, citing that there was no service for a certain group in the local area. We were cautious not to draw conclusions about supply versus demand on the basis of this anecdotal evidence alone, recognising that factors such as the level of need in a local area, provision in neighbouring areas and the specific needs of victims with certain characteristics should be considered in drawing such conclusions.A textual analysis of conclusions from the mapping exercise in Essex can be found at appendix 6.2. Consultation with stakeholders and organisationsFollowing the mapping exercise, we consulted stakeholders and colleagues in service delivery organisationsto access feedback on the needs of experiences of a wider range of victims. We wanted to talk torepresentatives from these organisations because, as they work with large numbers of victims every year,they are able to: form opinions based on the experiences of a wide range of service users note patterns, gaps and needs understand the limitations on services’ ability to meet these needs – from a service provider’s perspective explain what has been tried before, and what they would like to see tried in future, based on a realistic understanding of current political trends and financial constraints explain what works for victims and what doesn’t offer strategic proposals for solving the problems experienced by victims.We found it particularly valuable to consult stakeholders and organisations supporting victims we struggledto recruit to focus groups and interviews for qualitative research. Talking to professionals was one way ofensuring that victims we found harder to reach could be represented in the research. Many of theseorganisations offered additional help in signposting us to others which could provide additionalinformation. 33
  • 34. We consulted stakeholders and organisations individually throughout the project, and collectively towardsthe end, in drafting the proposed actions listed in chapter five of this report. We held a ‘roundtable’discussion with stakeholders seeking their feedback on the draft text of these and making amendments inresponse to their feedback. One of the limitations of this approach was that not all stakeholders invited tocontribute were willing or able to, and, where a consensus did not appear, not all could have their viewsrepresented in the final proposed actions or wider body of the report. Therefore managing expectationswas key to this element of our research.3. Review of existing research and reportsWe reviewed a selection of existing literature exploring the experiences of victims and provision of victimservices. The aim of this was to gain greater knowledge and understanding of the issues and to identify howthe project fits with and compares to the existing body of knowledge.We generally only considered literature published since 2008 to the present day. Where there was a lack ofrecent data on certain issues (female genital mutilation, for example), we have referred to the most up todate sources. This decision was taken to ensure that the literature identified remained relevant to thecurrent experiences of and services for victims. The time constraints of the project also meant that we hadto limit our review to literature from a relatively short time period. Literature we reviewed included localand national research reports from statutory and voluntary sector agencies, as well as academic bodies; italso included the published strategies, action plans and force plans from government departments andagencies including the Home Office and individual police forces.The search for literature was completed electronically using online search engines such as Google. Inaddition organisations identified in the mapping of victim services in each police area were consultedabout research or publications they were aware of or had produced themselves. Hard copies were alsomade available to us by stakeholders.In total 33 reports were identified and cited in this report.This review was limited in scope as it did not use a range of search strategies to identify literature. It istherefore likely that many relevant publications were not identified. In particular the review omitsempirical research not freely available online e.g. studies published in academic journals requiringsubscription.4. Secondary analysis of the British Crime Survey 2010/11 datasetWe analysed data from the British Crime Survey 2010/11 in order to understand the scale of need and theperceptions of victims and non-victims in Essex.The data set used was the British Crime Survey 2010/11, non-victim user form.Access was through the Economic and Social Data Service via special licence 44 and analysis was completedfollowing the BCS user guide, 45 using SPSS software.We extracted data against a selection of questions in the British Crime Survey which would tell us whatvictims in Essex thought of the police, the criminal justice system, and other services.We analysed the data using the following methods: 44 http://www.esds.ac.uk/government/bcs/ 45 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/user-guide- crime-statistics/user-guide-crime-statistics?view=Binary 34
  • 35.  cross-tabulation of public perception data at the Essex level calculation of average incidence rates for key crime categories at the Essex levelWe did not carry out significance testing of BCS data. Therefore the figures are quoted based on observeddifference rather than proven statistical significance.5. Qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groupsThe aim of the qualitative element of the research was to explore the experiences and perspectives ofindividuals who had been a victim of one of the crime categories in the last two years. This was done byconducting 1-1 interviews and focus groups with victims of crime in Essex.The focus groups conducted with children and young people differed slightly from the other four crimecategories as participants were not required to have been a victim of crime in the past two years. Thisoption was taken firstly because there are very few dedicated services for young victims of crime fromwhich participants could be recruited and secondly because, when talking to groups of young people perse, such as youth groups, we did not want to single young people out as victims. Most importantly, we didnot want the lack of dedicated young victims’ services to prevent young people having their voices heard inthis research.As a consequence the topic guide was not designed to focus on personal experiences but instead usedscenarios to drawn out opinions and perspectives in a sensitive and safe way. More detailed informationabout the part of the project is found in Appendix 2.Rationale for the approach:We used a variety of methods of research to enable us to examine the issues through a number of differentlenses and achieve a deepening and a widening in understanding. We wanted to ensure that wetriangulated our findings from these different research methods and data to give our findings validity.There were also more pragmatic reasons for using a variety of methods. The project’s aims could not beaddressed using a single method of inquiry. For example, while qualitative interviews with victims providedinformation about their individual experiences, opinions and access to services, these did not provide aneffective and systematic method for mapping all the existing services in Essex. Similarly, consultingprofessionals about the needs and experiences of victims would provide some information about theneeds and experiences of victims, however this would be from the perspective of the professional ratherthan victims themselves. It is also worth noting that, as is the case with all projects, the research methodswere in part shaped by the time and resource constraints of the project. 35
  • 36. Appendix 2: Qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups with victimsThe following provides more detail about the qualitative element of the research which was designed toexplore the experiences and perspectives of victims of crime.The approach:The aim of the qualitative element of the research was to capture the experiences and opinions of victimsin the five crime categories: victims of anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, sexual violence and hatecrime and young people affected by crime – whether or not they had been victims themselves. The use ofan in-depth qualitative approach enabled participants to raise issues that were important to them, drawingon their own experiences and using their own words. The data collected through a qualitative approach isuseful for understanding individuals’ perspectives on particular issues and the meanings that they attach totheir experiences and behaviour.The limitations of qualitative research have been well documented. While qualitative research can providerich, in-depth data, it can also be small in scale and dependent on context. Because of this, generalisationscannot be made about the experiences of the wider population on the basis of this research. In additionqualitative research can be seen as more subjective than quantitative data both in terms of data collection(researcher influence) and data analysis. We hoped to overcome these limitations to some extent by theuse of different methods to explore the issues of concern to this study i.e. consultation with professionals aswell as victims, analysis of the 2010/11 British Crime Survey, review of relevant literature and mappingexisting services for victims.Design of research tools:A semi-structured topic guide was developed in consultation with Victim Support’s research manager. Thishelped to ensure that key issues were explored with each participant and gave interviewers the flexibilityboth to adapt their style to meet the needs of individual participants and to probe and explore issues indetail and with sensitivity. The topic guide was piloted with five participants initially to test out questions,gain feedback and make appropriate modifications. A copy of the topic guide used is provided at Appendix4.Conduct:Originally the project planned to use focus groups as the sole qualitative method for investigation. Thisdecision was in part influenced by the time constraints of the project, whereby it was envisaged that theuse of focus groups would enable the project to reach a greater number of victims in a restricted timeperiod allocated for fieldwork. In addition the use of focus groups was decided upon because the methodfor recruiting participants was primarily via gateway organisations and it was felt that it would be beneficialto make use of pre-established groups, as these would have the advantage of being able to provide victimswith support before and after a focus group should they require it. It was also felt that the group dynamicof a focus group would enable participants collectively to develop creative ideas to put to police and crimecommissioners.Early on in the data collection stage it became clear that the data collection methods needed to be flexibleto account for the needs of victims and ensure everyone who wanted to participate could do so. Forexample many prospective participants were not comfortable taking part in a focus group for a variety ofreasons (e.g. nervousness about speaking in groups, not wanting others to hear about their experiences etc)however they were happy to participate in a face to face interview. Others were unable to gather easily inone central location due to the limitations of geography, particularly in rural areas. The needs andrequirements of the participants therefore dictated the use of a combination of focus groups andinterviews. 36
  • 37. For similar reasons, while the majority of interviews were conducted face to face with the interviewer,some were conducted over the telephone in order to meet the needs of the participant and facilitate theparticipation of those who were unable or unwilling to participate in a face to face interview. For some atelephone interview enables more control over the situation and provides a certain anonymity and privacynot available in a face to face interview.With the permission of the participants, the interviews/focus groups were recorded using a digitalrecording device. Where permission was not granted the researcher took notes. The recordings wereretained for a maximum of ten days and during this time the interviewer inputted information into theframework developed for sorting the data prior to analysis. The reason for this was to ensure that no datacaptured on the recording devices that could potentially identify participants was retained unnecessarily. Inaddition, between recordings being made and the data being entered into the framework analysis,recording devices were kept in locked cabinets so that the data they contained could not be accessed.Criteria for participation:Except in the case of children and young people, criteria for participation were that: the prospective participant had been a victim of at least one of the crime types in the last two years (except in the case of historic sexual abuse, victims of which often do not access services or report the crime until many years after it took place), and the prospective participant was aged over 18 years.We decided to focus on experiences that occurred in the last two years to ensure the relevance of thoseexperiences to the existing provision of services in the local area and to avoid difficulties and inaccuraciesin recall. The age restriction was put in place as it was agreed early on in the project to focus on theexperiences of children and young people as a distinct part of the project and to reflect the additionalethical, safeguarding and welfare considerations of working with those under the age of 18 (see moreinformation about children and young people below).Sampling:The aim was to reach a minimum of five participants in each local police force area in each of the crimecategories. Inclusivity of participants across diversity strands was attempted by applying the conclusions ofan equality impact assessment conducted at the beginning of the project.Recruitment of participants:Participants were recruited primarily through gateway organisations that were already providing or hadprovided support to the participants. This was partly dictated by pragmatic considerations (e.g. thegateway organisations already had access to the individuals that the project was looking to consult andcould identify those who met the participation criteria) and partly due to ethical considerations (e.g. thegateway organisations were there to provide support to the participants after the research was completedand already had an understanding of their needs.) Host organisation Victim Support was also treated as agateway organisation and trained Victim Support staff and volunteers offered immediate emotionalsupport to participants drawn from both Victim Support networks and beyond. Participants were alsorecruited through local organisations and stakeholders. The interviews and focus groups took placebetween October 2011 and March 2012.Ethical considerations: 37
  • 38. The wellbeing and safeguarding of participants were paramount in the conduct of the interviews and focusgroups. Key elements of the ethical approach taken included: providing prospective participants with the information needed to make an informed decision about whether to take part or not recording participants’ decisions to take part via a consent form and providing them with the opportunity to withdraw consent explaining carefully to participants the steps taken to maintain confidentiality and the limitations to preserving confidentiality in accordance with Victim Support policies maintaining participant anonymity by removing all information that could potentially identify an individual minimising distress to participants during fieldwork e.g. conducting interviews and focus groups in a private and safe space; researcher sensitivity to the needs of participants, having a trained Victim Support staff member or volunteer available during the fieldwork to provide support if and when required etc. making referrals to specialist support services should further support be required by the participants recruitment of interviewers (victims’ services advocates) with experience of working with victims of crime and/or other vulnerable groups the provision of detailed guidelines, briefings and training sessions to all researchers to prepare them for the role and taking into account areas of possible sensitivity (specific training was delivered to prepare VSAs for working with children and young people and victims of sexual violence) mandatory safeguarding training and Criminal Records Bureau checking of all interviewers before they could conduct interviews or focus groups.Children and Young PeopleWe took a different approach to researching the experiences of children and young people firstly inrecognition of the fact that there are few dedicated services for young victims around the country.We wanted to make sure that we did capture the views of children and young people but did not considerit to be within the capability of the project to recruit one-off focus groups specifically of young victims ofcrime outside the support systems that a gateway organisation, such as a youth group, would provide. Wetherefore contacted existing groups and requested the opportunity to hold a focus group as part of anexisting, planned session.We did not want to ask the young people to talk about their personal experiences or indeed to singleyoung people out as victims in a group environment so we used a fictional character ‘Alex’ as a point ofdiscussion and asked the young people to explain how Alex might feel as a victim of crime.An amended topic guide was used for these sessions and can be found at appendix 3. This was developedwith the advice of specialist young people’s workers within Victim Support. Findings from the research withyoung people were captured on a separate framework to that used for adult participants and thereforedata from the young people cannot be compared with that from the adults in a meaningful way.Analysis:The analysis of the interviews and focus groups was undertaken using a framework analysis approach. Thisapproach was chosen as it offered a transparent and systematic method for analysing qualitative datawhich enables the research to stay focussed on the specific priorities of the study. The transparentprocedural approach of framework analysis is valuable as it would allow another researcher to repeat theprocess in order to verify findings. It is also a relatively straightforward approach which could easily be 38
  • 39. explained and adopted by all the researchers working on the project and which did not require the use ofcomplex and expensive computer assisted qualitative data analysis software.The first stage involved the researchers familiarising themselves with the data (through reading notesand/or listening to recordings) and then systematically sifting, summarising and sorting the data from eachinterview or focus group into a pre-designed thematic framework. The framework comprises a series ofsubject charts in Excel. The broad theme headings that made up the thematic framework used for thisresearch were: impact of victimisation support needs of victims experience of the police, experience of other criminal justice system agencies experience of other agencies barriers and facilitators to accessing support, and recommendations.These broad themes were broken down further into sub-themes and there was also space within theframework for researchers to record information that did not fit into these themes but might still beimportant to the study. This meant that emerging and unexpected themes could be identified andrecorded.Researchers also recorded verbatim quotations from participants in the framework. Basic contextinformation about each interview or focus group was recorded including whether it was a focus group orinterview, the number of people participating, the crime type area and basic demographic detail.Once the data was summarised and sorted in the framework then in depth analysis was conducted. Like allqualitative data analysis this was an iterative process and involved the researcher: reviewing the summarised data systematically, comparing and contrasting the different accounts, experiences and perspectives searching for patterns, contradictions or connections within the data seeking explanations for patterns and associations making interpretations grounded in the data.Each crime type area was analysed separately initially to identify the concerns and issues specific to thatvictimisation experience. Where time was available all victim crime types were analysed together toidentify where there were issues and concerns relevant to all victims interviewed.Limitations of the qualitative researchAs with all research this approach had certain limitations. Some of these were inherent in themethodology and others related to the specific response achieved for this study. Some of the limitationshave been considered here: Recruitment: this was largely through gateway organisations and therefore may not have reached those victims that had not accessed services at all and may have the greatest needs/most unmet needs Diversity of sample: because of the small numbers of victims involved, we aimed to be inclusive rather than fully representative of all victims locally who had experienced each crime type. Generalisations about all victims representing a particular diversity strand cannot therefore be drawn on the basis of this research 39
  • 40.  Complexity of hate crime as a crime category: because hate crime can be motivated by hostility on the basis of multiple diversity strands, it was not possible, with the small sample interviewed by this research, to gain the views of people affected by all types of hate crime. In Essex, we spoke to victims affected by racist and disability-motivated hate crime. We were not able to speak to victims of homophobic, religiously-motivated, or transphobic hate crime, so this research can only give a partial picture of the impact of hate crime locally. Combination of interviews and focus groups: because, led by the needs of participants, we conducted our research in a combination of group sizes, there is a risk of overstating data captured in interviews as it is more detailed and in depth Retrospective views and past experiences: because we were reliant on the recall of victims, there is a risk that this recall can be flawed, especially if events took place some time ago Interviewer effect: as with any research captured in person, there is a risk that interviewers will represent victims’ views through a filter of their own personal perspective Social desirability: particularly in a group setting, there may be a risk of participants saying what they think is socially acceptable rather than what they really think. Bias of self-selection: those who have had negative experiences with services may have been more motivated to take part, especially if they were likely to feel more strongly or want to have the opportunity for redress. Victims who had had more positive experiences may have felt less inclined to come forward Only one part of the story: because we didn’t hold focus groups asking the same questions of agencies providing services to victims, we were unable to capture the same level of detail from their perspective about the challenges and difficulties facing agencies or the criminal justice system in meeting the needs of victims, However it was beyond the scope of this project to investigate this in detail as our priority was capturing the voice of victims. 40
  • 41. Appendix 3: Children and Young People topic guideTopic Guide – VSA research (CYP)Materials needed: Flipchart and pens Flashcards Post it notes Parental and young people consent forms (distributed by gateway organisations) Dictaphone Incentives e.g. pizza.o IntroductionThe group leader should introduce the VSA to the group, set ground rules and be on hand for anychallenges that may arise throughout the session. Ground rules should be provided by the gatewayorganisation where possible; if they do not already have a list of ground rules then VSAs should use theground rules document in the CYP toolkit.“Good Afternoon/Evening. Thank you all for letting me take some of your time. I would like to start byintroducing myself and explaining a little about the work I am doing which I hope you will be able to helpme with.My name is [insert name] and I am Victims’ Service’s Advocate for Essex. Part of my role is looking at whathelp and support there is available for victims and witnesses of crime and looking at ways that things maybe improved for those affected by crime. I am here today to get your thoughts and opinions on policingand crime to help feed into this work.This is connected to a big change that is coming up in how police are run - Police & Crime Commissioners(PCCs), who will be elected in November 2012 in each of the 42 police force areas in England & Wales.PCCs will be responsible for setting what the police in the local area should focus their efforts and moneyon. They will also be responsible for deciding whether to start or support other services relating to crime,including services/support for victims of crime.We want to try and make sure that one of the things they focus on is looking after victims. So part of myjob is to write a report in a few months time on what the PCC should do to support victims of crime –including young victims.Please be aware that I am not here to talk about any experiences personal to yourself, I am just looking athow you feel about some of the issues identified by victims and witnesses of crime. If over the course of thesession you do wish to discuss something personal then please do discuss with the group leader after thesession [confirm this with group leader]. 41
  • 42. Finally, anything that we do discuss will be in confidential and we will not be using anyone’s names in thereport we write. The only time we will break confidentiality will be if we believe you or someone else is indanger of harm. Please also respect the confidentiality of each other and do not disclose what is discussedin this focus group to others. “ Opening the discussion – 5 minutes  Ice breaker: Ask young people to introduce themselves – their name and what they enjoy doing in their spare time (or similar) N.B. This should be facilitated by the group leader with the VSA as participant Support needs – 15 minutes  Case Study: Alex - This is Alex (VSA draws picture of a boy on flip chart) - How old is he? (elicit feedback and write down answer on flip chart) - What does he like to do? (elicit feedback and write down answer on flip chart)  VSA reads: - Alex was out with some friends one evening. Whilst waiting at the bus stop with a friend a group of lads came up to them and demanded their phones and money. - Alex refused and when he did one of the lads punched him in the face badly cutting his lip. - Alex and his friend handed over all their money and phones and when the lads had gone they ran to a nearby phone box to call the police.Q. What would they need from the police?Prompts could include:- Regular update on progress- Signposting- Sensitive to your needs- Quick response.Q. What other support might they need?Prompts could include:- Emotional support- Specialist support- Medical help- Safer community (lighting, CCTV etc)Q. Where could they get that support from?Prompts could include:- Local organisations- Family and friends- GP 42
  • 43. Agree/Disagree – 10 mins- Everyone stands in the centre of the room and Agree and Disagree signs are placed on either side of the room- The facilitator reads out a specific point of view from the CYP statement flashcards on policing and crime e.g. “There is no point reporting abusive neighbours; nobody does anything about it anyway!”- Ask people to move according to how far they agree or disagree with the statement; and ask whyWhat things do you think would help young victims of crime like Alex? - 5 minutes- Make a list of things the young people think the PCC should do to help victims of crime. Include things such as ‘better communication with the victim’ and ‘provide more funding to local organisations’ etc- Once the list is compiled split the young people into groups (max of 4 per group) and give each group a few post-it notes, then ask them to put down the three things they personally would like to see the PCC focus on. They can use items from the list or think of their own- Collect them in, make a definitive list of main priorities on the flipchart and elicit a response from each group as to why these things are importantConclusion- Thank young people for their time and contribution- Ask if there are any final questions or comments- Ask if the young people are interested in seeing the report / being kept informed of progress – advise this will be available via the gateway organisation- Communicate that a report will be available from May 2012Closing the discussion (optional) – 5 minutesA closedown activity (similar to the opening icebreaker) is recommended to close down the discussion.N.B. This should be facilitated by the group leader with the VSA as participant.A closedown activity example is as follows:- Ask everyone to stand in a circle.- Each person says what they had for breakfast- The next person then repeats what has already been said and adds their own For example: “This morning I had 1) an apple 2) a bowl of cereal and 3) an xxx for breakfast”- This continues until everyone has had their go; the VSA should be the last person in the sequence 43
  • 44. Appendix 4: Adult focus group topic guideMaterials needed: Flipchart and pens Consent forms Dictaphone Change for reimbursing travel.Introduction – 10-15 minutesIntroduce yourself Go over VSA project and purpose of focus groups: This is connected to a big change that is coming up in how police are run - Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs), who will be elected in November 2012 in each of the 43 police force areas in England & Wales PCCs will be responsible for setting what the police in the local area should focus their efforts and money on. They will also be responsible for deciding whether to start or support other services relating to crime, including services/support for victims of crime We want to try and make sure that one of the things they focus on is looking after victims. This research is being done as part of a project to identify what victims in each area need in terms of services and support, so that the PCCs can know where they should focus police resources in relation to services and support for victims What you tell us in this group will be used to make a briefing paper for the incoming Police & Crime Commissioner for your area, aimed at highlighting what victims most need and influencing them to act to better meet that needConfidentialityExplain that: All the information provided will be treated confidentially – it will be kept secure and only be seen by members of the VSA research team. It will not be shared with other VS staff, the gateway organisation (if relevant) or anyone else They will not be identified in the report – we may cite their experience or views and quote them in the report but we would not use their name, and would change any details which might identify them Participants should respect the confidentiality and anonymity of each other and not disclose what is discussed in the focus group to others Emphasise the limits of confidentiality i.e. if someone shares something which suggests a vulnerable adult or a child is at risk, or they are at risk, the researcher has an obligation to share this information the relevant Victim Support manager, who may have to inform social servicesPractical issuesExplain that: The focus group will last around 2 hours There will be a 5-10 minute break half-way through Travel expenses will be reimbursed at the end 44
  • 45.  They do not have to answer questions if they do not want to They can leave at any time and for whatever reason They will be given information about support services available (where applicable) and the name and contact details of a volunteer who will be available to talk to them about any issues or queries they have. If needed they are also on hand if they should wish to go out and talk to someone Ask permission to record the interview Housekeeping – fire procedure, toilets etc Ask them to give each other a chance to speak, respect each other’s views and try not to talk over each otherConsent Check if they have understood the above Hand out consent forms and ask to sign Emphasise that consent can be withdrawn at any point and they would need to inform the researcher if they wanted to do so1 Opening the discussion – 15 minutesIcebreaker: ask people to introduce themselves – their name and what they had for breakfast (or similar).Ask participants to each tell a little bit about their experience of being a victim of crime: explain they canshare as much or as little as they want but would be useful if they included whether the crime was reportedto the police and, if it was, what the outcome of the investigation was (e.g. no-one caught - case dropped,offender charged – sentenced).2 Support needs for dealing with the police and CJS – 30-40 minutesFirst, we want to look at the service that victims of [relevant crime type] get from the police – what do victimsneed from police and why?EXERCISE 1: WHAT VICTIMS NEED FROM THE POLICEDraw line down piece of flipchart with header ‘WHAT’ on one side and ‘WHY’ on the other.We want to find out from you what you think it is most important that police do when dealing with victimsof [relevant crime type], and why.So first, what is most important about how the police deal with victims of [relevant crime type]?MODERATOR INSTRUCTION: Note in the ‘WHAT’ column, if participants also say why it is important, note in‘WHY’ column.PROBE: Responding to report of crime quickly Taking incident seriously Taking (quick) action to investigate Explaining process / next steps Keep victim updated and informed about what they were doing Being understanding and responsive to concerns of victim Treating victim with consideration and respect Linking victim to other support servicesWhy are these things important? 45
  • 46. MODERATOR INSTRUCTION: Note in the ‘WHY’ column. Ask if the police did do any of these things in theircase, and if they did, what was valuable about it for them.PROBE: Reassurance Understanding of process / what to expect Able to access other support ‘Closure’Ask if the police did not do these things in their case and, if they didn’t, what effect that had on them.PROBE: Worsens distress Felt alone/isolated/unsupported Emotional wellbeing deteriorates/self-doubt/stress/possibly ill mental health Made fear for safety Affected trust/confidence/loss of respect in police Made less likely to report crime or engage with police in futureAsk each if they could say which of these things are the most important for victims of [relevant crime type]overall (in their view).So we now have a list of things that victims of [relevant crime type] want or need from police: how well doyou think police in this area meet these needs?What could they do to improve?PROBE: Manner – more understanding, respectful etc Information and communication with victim – updating on progress and outcome, explaining process and next steps etc Linking with other services – e.g. referring to information and support services like VSIndependent organisations are sometimes able to help victims deal with the police e.g. by explaining whatrights/entitlements they have as victims and how the process works, or by helping to get information frompolice officers such as updates on their case.Did you have any independent support to help with the police? Would you have found it useful to havethis in your experience of dealing with the police? (or perhaps you did get it?)PROBE: How do you think such support might have helped you in dealing with the police?Do you think victims of [relevant crime type] generally would benefit from this type of support to help dealwith the police and other criminal justice agencies? PROBE: Why/why not?Does anyone have experience or views of other criminal justice agencies that they want to share e.g. CPS,courts?PROBE: Good points Bad points 46
  • 47. BREAK – 5-10 minutes3 Support needs for dealing with impact of crime – 30-40 minutesIn the next part we want to look beyond the police at what victims of [relevant crime type] need to deal withthe impact on their lives. We know that being a victim of crime can have all sorts of effects on your life: it canbe traumatic and affect your emotions and confidence; it can affect your employment, your finances, yourhealth; and, as well as dealing with strictly policing matters, the Police and Crime Commissioners will be ableto do something about these things as well, through commissioning services and support for victims.EXERCISE 2: SUPPORT NEEDOn flipchart make 4 columns headed ‘WHAT’, ‘WHY’, ‘WHEN’, ‘WHO’.We want to find out from you what aspects of your life being a victim of [relevant crime type] had thebiggest impact on, and what type of help you needed to deal with it.Ask each person in turn to say what, if anything, they most needed help with in terms of dealing with theimpact of the experience on their life. Note in the ‘WHAT’ column. NOTE: prompt, using support type list ifnecessaryPROBE: Why was this needed? – note in the ‘WHY’ column Was there a particular point that it was needed? – note in the ‘WHEN’ columnAsk each: what forms of help do you think is most important for victims of [relevant crime type] overall?So we have what, why and when. What about ‘who’? Who would you want this type of support from?PROBE:Is there a certain organisation or type of organisation that’s most appropriate or best placed to provide thissupport?Which, if any, of the following do you think are important for these types of services (services identified bythe participants in the previous question): To be independent of police or government To be specialists in supporting victims To be specialists in supporting victims of [relevant crime type] To be specialists in supporting people from under represented communities e.g. with disabled people, people with mental health problems, people from an ethnic minority group Have legal knowledge/knowledge of how system worksIs this type of help available in this area?Were you aware it was available?Would you know how to find out about it?PROBE if yes: How? - leaflet, website, word of mouth etcDo independent services link up well enough – so if you were supported by an independent service did itlink in with other support services to assist you?Was the quality of the support good enough? Why/why not?4 Overall messages on victim needs – 10-15 minutesFinally, we want to see if we can distil what we’ve discussed into some key messages to take to the PCCs.If you could tell the new PCC one thing about what they should be doing for victims of [specific crimetype], what would that be? 47
  • 48. If you could tell the new PCC one thing about what they should be doing for victims generally in Essex,what would that be?5 Conclusion – 5 minutes Thank participants for their time and contribution Ask if there are any final questions or comments Give out information sheet and reiterate that follow-up support is availableAsk if people are interested in seeing the report / being kept informed of progress – take contact details ofthose who are. Communicate that a report will be available from May 2012 48
  • 49. Appendix 5: List of victims consultedThe VSAs consulted the following victims when researching this reportAnti-social behaviour3 x interviewDomestic abuse1 interviewSexual violence1 focus group: 7 participants 49
  • 50. Appendix 6: Summary of local organisations and stakeholders mapped1. BreakdownThe following is a breakdown of the mapping exercise we undertook and represents the picture of serviceprovision we found across Essex at that time. We endeavoured to map all services providing direct supportto victims or witnesses of crime, but we will have missed some.We also recognise there are many other more general services that would provide support to victims in aless targeted way. Youth services, church groups and general support for older people are examples ofservices we did not map as their target service users do not explicitly include ‘victims of crime’.Furthermore, the funding climate means many services we mapped will have since changed in scope, beencut or maybe even grown. This should be borne in mind in drawing conclusions on the basis of ourmapping.We mapped 21 direct support services to victims of crime. In addition, we mapped partnerships and/orconsortium arrangements that provide support to victims. These include:  Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference  Essex Domestic Abuse Strategy Group  Castle Point & Rochford Domestic Abuse Panel  Safer Essex Partnership  Essex Independent Advisory Group  Domestic Abuse ForumsPlease note that the position of the person we spoke to varied and so the views given were not necessarilythe view of the service or organisation.2. List of organisations mappedThe following is a list of all the organisations we mapped; those in bold we spoke to in more depth eitherface-to-face or by telephone.Anti-Social Behaviour TeamsBasildon CouncilBasildon Women’s AidBraintree Women’s AidCentre for Action on Rape and Abuse (North East & Mid-Essex)Castle Point & Rochford Domestic Abuse PanelChelmsford & Maldon DV ForumChelmsford Women’s AidColchester & Tendring Women’s RefugeColchester Domestic Abuse ForumCommunity Safety PartnershipsDomestic Homicide Review PanelsEpping Forest District CouncilEssex Coalition of Disabled PeopleEssex County CouncilEssex Crown Prosecution ServiceEssex Domestic Abuse Strategy GroupEssex Independent Advisory GroupEssex Independent Domestic Violence Advisers 50
  • 51. Essex Independent Sexual Violence AdvisersEssex PoliceEssex Police AuthorityEssex ProbationKnifecrimes.orgMaldon CouncilNew PathsOakwood Place (SARC)Other Community Safety Partnerships across EssexProactive DiversitySafer Essex PartnershipSafer Places (Harlow)South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (South Essex)SOS Domestic Abuse ProjectSouthend Domestic Abuse ForumSpecialist Domestic Violence CourtThurrock CouncilThurrock LifestylesThurrock Women’s AidTRUST (Thurrock)Victim Support EssexVictim Support Homicide Service3. Overview of support and servicesSupport services for victims of anti-social behaviourVictim Support was the only service identified as providing support to victims of anti-social behaviouracross Essex. Practical and emotional support is provided by trained volunteers and in Braintree, fundinghas enabled the provision of a dedicated anti-social behaviour support service. Multi-agency anti-socialbehaviour teams and housing providers can provide a degree of support to victims, however their functionis primarily investigation and enforcement.The concerns of support services for victims of anti-social behaviour  sustainable funding of anti-social behaviour services within the statutory authorities  support for those assessed as low/medium risk  support for those with complex needs such as mental health, drugs and alcohol  lack of independent services for victims of anti-social behaviourSupport services for victims of domestic abuseMARACs are co-ordinated centrally by Essex police, with 6 operating across the county. Referrals toMARAC are increasing as more non-police organisations submit CAADA Domestic Abuse, Stalking andHarassment Risk Assessment Checklist forms.Essex has 5.5 full-time equivalent IDVAs plus a part-time team leader employed by Victim Support. EssexPolice have a team of around 40 specially trained officers called Domestic Abuse Liaison Officers. Their roleis to investigate and offer immediate and long term support to those most at risk.There were 7 refuges identified across Essex together with 5 organisations providing outreach support. Afull outreach support service is available for male victims in Southend. In addition, there is another service 51
  • 52. to support male victims of domestic abuse. This is also located in Southend but has capacity to takereferrals from across Essex.The concerns of support services for victims of domestic abuse  sustainable funding for support services  limited IDVA capacity for county  lack of specialist counselling provision  increase in competitive tendering within the voluntary sector and also, statutory and private sector organisations.Support services for victims of sexual violenceThere is one SARC covering the county. It provides various types of support to male and female children,young people and adult victims of rape and sexual assault. The ISVA services, which are run by SERICC andVictim Support, are funded by the police and the primary care trusts. Two services provide support andcounselling to women and girls. One of them - CARA - is also able to support male victims under the ageof 19 years.The concerns of support services for victims of sexual violence  sustainable funding for support services  limited ISVA capacity for county  lack of long term specialist counselling provisionSupport services for people bereaved by murder or manslaughterThe Homicide Service is a national service run by Victim Support. It provides support to those bereaved bymurder and manslaughter. The only other service available to those bereaved by homicide wasKnifecrimes. It provides advice, support and advocacy, regardless of the type of weapon used.Support services for victims of hate crimeWe were unable to identify any hate crime-specific services in Essex, other than the hate crime serviceprovided by Victim Support. There are, however, a number of organisations that will provide support forvictims of hate crime and act as third party reporting centres.The concerns of support services for victims of hate crime under reporting of Hate Crime in EssexSupport services for young victims of crimeSERICC and CARA provide support to young victims of sexual violence. Victim Support can provide directhelp and support to young people aged between 13 and 17. Victim Support’s Young Witness Serviceprovides help to those called to give evidence at court.Concerns of support services for young victims of crime lack of specialist support for children and young people who are victims of crime 52
  • 53. Appendix 7: GlossaryAnti-social behaviour - Defined by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as “behaviour that causes, or is likely tocause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the perpetrator.”Anti-social behaviour includes conduct that is and is not already covered by existing criminal offences,such as criminal damage and harassment.British Crime Survey (BCS) - a systematic victim study, currently carried out by BMRB Limited on behalf ofthe Home Office. The BCS asks people aged 16 and over living in households in England and Wales abouttheir experiences of crime in the last 12 months. These experiences are used to estimate levels of crime inEngland and Wales.Black and minority ethnic (BME) - a term used to describe any minority race, nationality or language &culture in the UK.Criminal Justice System (CJS) - the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholdingsocial control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penaltiesand rehabilitation efforts, includes policing, courts and corrections services.Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal casesinvestigated by the police in England and Wales.Domestic abuse - Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual,financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members,regardless of gender or sexuality.Female genital mutilation (FGM) - a collective term for a range of procedures which involve partial or totalremoval of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is sometimes referred to as femalecircumcision, or female genital cutting.Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) – independently assesses police forces and policingacross activity from neighbourhood teams to serious crime and the fight against terrorism.Independent domestic violence adviser (IDVA)- provide proactive independent support to victims; involvingthe assessment of risk, safety planning and facilitating effective partnership working within multi-agencies,throughout the victims engagement with the criminal justice process.Independent sexual violence adviser (ISVA) - An independent sexual violence adviser offers confidentialadvice and support to both males and females who have been the victims of sexual violence.Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) – an acronym that collectively refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual,and transgender people.Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) - meetings where information about high risk domesticabuse victims (those at risk of murder or serious harm) is shared between local agencies. By bringing allagencies together at a MARAC, a risk focused, coordinated safety plan can be drawn up to support thevictim.Police and crime commissioner (PCC) –elected by the public to hold chief constables and the force toaccount; effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve. Police and crime 53
  • 54. commissioners will ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and will improve localrelationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They will also work in partnership across arange of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing andreducing crime.Police force area - the area for which a designated police force has responsibility for providing policingservices and enforcing criminal law.Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 – legislation setting out reform for police accountabilityand governance, including the creation of the MOPC and replacing police authorities with directly electedPolice and Crime Commissioners.Sexual assault referral centre (SARC) - specialist services for people who have been raped or sexuallyassaulted. Provides medical care and forensic examination following assault/rape, counselling and in somelocations, sexual health services. SARCs are mostly able to assist in the immediate aftermath of an assaultbut do not offer long term services that are provided by Rape Crisis Centre.Sexual offences investigation team (SOIT) - specially trained officers, who have to attend a rigorous trainingcourse. They ensure that the immediate physical, mental and welfare needs of the victim are met. They willexplain the criminal justice process and gather evidence and information from the victim to support theinvestigation.The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (VCOP) – code which governs the services to be provided inEngland and Wales by organisations in regards to victims of criminal conduct which occurred in Englandand Wales.Victims’ services advocate (VSA) – individual employed by the victims’ services advocates project to researchand promote the service needs of victims of crime in preparation for the introduction of elected police andcrime commissioners and, in London, the MOPC. 54
  • 55. Barter, C., McCarry, M., Berridge, D. and Evans, K. (2009) Partner exploitation and violence in teenageintimate relationships London: NSPCCCAADA (2009) Safety in Numbers – A Multi-site Evaluation of Independent Violence Advisor Services London:CAADACAADA (2010) Saving Lives, Saving Money London: CAADACAADA (2011) Evaluation of Luton MARAC Bristol: CAADACasey, L. (2011) Review into the Needs of Families Bereaved by Homicide London: Home OfficeCatch 22 (2001) What works: Developing a welfare approach to supporting young victims London: Catch 22Equality and Human Rights Commission (2009) Promoting the safety and security of disabled peopleLondon: EHRCEssex Coalition of Disabled People ‘Disability Hate Crime, Lived experience report’http://www.scribd.com/doc/56667943/ecdp-Disability-Hate-Crime-Report-May-2011Essex Police and Essex Police Authority Strategic Plan 2010-2013Essex Police Plan 2012Firmin, C. (2011) This is it, This is my life: Female Voice in Violence, final report London: ROTAHome Office (2010) Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls London: Home OfficeHome Office (2010) Violence Against Women and Girls Ready Reckoner London: Home OfficeHome Office (2011) Crime in England and Wales 2010/11, police force area data tables London: HomeOfficeHome Office (2011) Crime in England and Wales 2010/11: Findings from the British Crime Survey and policerecorded crime (2nd Edition) London: Home OfficeHome Office (2011) Have you got what it takes? London: Home OfficeHome Office (2011) Home Office Statistical Bulletin 08/11 Children’s experience and attitudes towards thepolice, personal safety and public spaces: Findings from the 2009/10 British Crime Survey interviews withchildren aged 10 to 15. Supplementary Volume 3 to Crime in England and Wales 2009/10 London: HomeOfficeHome Office (2011) The Government Response to the Stern Review London: Home OfficeHome Office (2012) Challenge it, Report it, Stop it: The Government’s Plan to Tackle Hate Crime London: HMGovernmentHome Office (2012) Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime: Sexual Offences London: Home Office 55
  • 56. Home Office (2012) Home Office Statistical Bulletin: Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence2010/11:O’Brien, N., Moules, T. and Walker, S. (2011) The Impact of Cyber Bullying on Mental Health London: NSPCCand Anglia Ruskin UniversityPayne, S. (2009) Rape: The Victim Experience Review London: Home OfficeSupplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2010/11; London: Home OfficeVictim Support (2007) Hoodie or Goodie London: Victim SupportVictim Support analysis based on Home Office: Research, Development and Statistics Directorate andBMRB, Social Research, British Crime Survey; 2010-11, Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive [distributor].Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the QueensPrinter for Scotland 56
  • 57. Commissioned by the independent Victims’ Commissioner.Finalised with support from the Ministry of Justice and funded by theHome Office