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Women’s Support Centre Counseling

The Women’s Support Centre offers a safe and homely space for women in which to access gender-specialist support services. Situated on the High Street in Woking near the station, the Centre has a living room area, space for workshops, quiet rooms for counselling and a kitchen. The Centre is devoted to creating a community and a creative space as well as support services.

Funded from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will allow continuation of specialist counselling interventions for women who, in addition to their involvement in the criminal justice system, have also been victims of crime or abuse. The service aims to improve their chances of avoiding re-offending and restoring their lives towards a more stable future.

For more information about the Women’s Support Centre, please visit their website.

New outreach worker to focus on supporting young people in the county

Fearless is Crime Stopper’s youth service and through the website Fearless.org offers young people non-judgemental advice so they can make informed decisions about reporting crime. The service also engages with and educates young people about the consequences of their choices around crime.

The Fearless website allows young people to give information about crime 100% anonymously using a secure online form. This message is reinforced through campaigns that encourage safe and anonymous reporting of issues such as knife and drug crime and those involved with County Lines – including speaking up about those who regularly carry weapons.

Last year, a survey conducted by the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner and Surrey Youth Focus found that nearly 1 in 5 (18.4%) young people in the county were most concerned about violent crime. The new role is funded by the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner as part of his focus to support younger people.

Surrey Police launch in-house Victim & Witness Care Unit

After months of research and planning, our new in-house Victim & Witness Care Unit launched yesterday on Monday (1 April). ‘Victim Support’ until now has been commissioned by Surrey Police using ring-fenced funding from the Ministry Of Justice to provide support to victims of crime, on behalf of the Force.

From 1 April this funding stream will be channelled into the new unit instead. The benefits of this are huge. We know that when a victim is given the right support, both practically and emotionally, not only does it aid their recovery and reduce repeat victimisation but, when teamed with an effective investigation, it improves their cooperation to support the criminal justice system and bring offenders to justice.

PCC David Munro said:

“Experiencing crime can have a truly devastating effect on people and increase vulnerability. That’s why it is so important they receive the right support to recover and rebuild their lives.

I want to make sure they have a more positive experience of the criminal justice system – from point of reporting through to resolution. That’s why it’s a major benefit Surrey Police is now delivering a complete wraparound service for both victims and witnesses, allowing far closer working between the new team and those responsible for response and investigation.”

Rachel Roberts, Head of the Victim & Witness Care Unit said:

“I’m really excited to head up this new unit which will provide the much needed wraparound quality care and support for victims and witnesses of crime. All members of the team have been trained to assess a victim’s individual needs and offer support tailored to helping them cope with the immediate impact of the crime and as far as possible, recover from the harm experienced.

While all victims of crime will be referred to the unit in the first instance, the service we provide will be a generalist support provision. We will continue to commission specialist support services where appropriate, which we’ll work alongside to ensure there’s a complete end-to-end service making it a smoother journey for victims and witnesses of crime.”

A new website has been developed to promote the services of the unit which can be found by clicking here.

County Lines and Gangs Awareness

The criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is happening here in Surrey.

Children are being groomed into County Lines which is the police term for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas as well as market and coastal towns, using dedicated mobile phone lines.

On 12 June Surrey Police, along with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, held a free County Lines and Gangs Awareness conference for all professionals who work with and support vulnerable children and young people. The aim of the conference was to help front-line professionals understand how gangs work, spot the signs of a child involved in a gang and know the next steps to take.

Approximately 500 individuals attended the event where they heard from guest speakers such as a former gang member and a victim of criminal and sexual exploitation. Attendees were also provided information on County Lines and Gangs, how it affects our community and how we can enhance our engagement potential with those at risk.

RASASC receives Queen’s Award

The OPCC is pleased to report that on 2nd June Buckingham Palace announced RASASC as a recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2018.

RASASC provides support to all male and female survivors of rape and sexual abuse in Surrey and the surrounding areas, including one-to-one support, counselling and a telephone helpline.

Damian Markland from the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner for Surrey, who supported the nomination, said “This award is thoroughly well deserved and recognises the tireless efforts of RASASC’s staff and volunteers.

“The positive impact they make to the lives of those affected by rape and sexual abuse cannot be understated, and their expertise in this field is highly valued by the Police and Crime Commissioner”.

For more information about the service, please visit: www.rasasc.org

Interview with CEO of East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services

With reporting of domestic abuse on the rise in Britain, VC News talks to one woman
Michelle Blunsom who, as CEO of East Surrey Domestic Abuse, is spearheading the fight against it.

East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services is an independent charity providing outreach and associated services in the borough of Reigate & Banstead and the districts of Mole Valley and Tandridge. The organization also coordinates Surrey’s wider outreach service, working with a number of other local providers to ensure all of Surrey’s residents have access to high quality DA support.

View the full interview

Surrey Youth Focus

At the beginning of 2017 Surrey Youth Focus undertook a piece of research for the OPCC exploring how young people view Surrey Police. They also asked what would improve the relationship the Police has with the 283,000 young people living in Surrey. The report ‘Promoting excellent relationships between young people and Surrey Police’ was presented to the OPCC in April and grouped the feedback into four themes.

  • Ensuring Surrey Police is equipped to deliver the best possible policing service for young people
  • Enabling young people to learn about crime and Surrey Police
  • Engaging young people
  • Supporting young people as victims

We are very grateful to all those who took part in the survey, focus groups, 1-2-1 sessions and events. We received a huge amount of information through everyone being open and honest.

It is now our job to turn all that information into action and work has already started. We are developing three more cadet schemes in Surrey to run alongside the three we have already established.

Alliance Support Coaching

Victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB) can feel helpless and frustrated, referred from one organisation to another seeking an intervention that will put an end to the problems they are experiencing.  In many cases victims are some of the most vulnerable in our society and even what is perceived as ‘low level’ ASB, when targeted and persistent, can have devastating effects on their lives.

In 2017 the PCC has awarded funding to the Alliance of Surrey Mediation Services to establish a service to support victims of ASB. The service will help people tackle difficult situations, overcome uncertainty about what to do next, and improve their general well-being by:

  • providing a listening ear;
  • supporting you to develop coping strategies; and
  • Signposting you to other sources of support

More information can be found here: http://www.allianceofsurreymediationservices.org/anti-social-behaviour-coaching/

The York Road Project

The York Road Project (YRP) aims to support people off the streets and into accommodation where they will be able to participate and contribute fully to the local community. The PCC has funded the salary costs of one outreach worker for the period April 1st 2017 to March 31st 2020. The Outreach Worker will focus on individual care plans supporting the clients to make choices particularly around accessing health and wellbeing, accommodation, employment and relationship services

More information can be found here – http://www.yorkroadproject.org.uk/

Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead

The PCC has provided funding to VARB to enable them to expand their supported volunteering project to address the needs of ex-offenders and voluntary organisations to encourage more successful volunteer placements to take place. The ultimate goal is to provide ex-offenders with a positive way of contributing towards their local community whilst also benefiting from gaining skills and experience that will help them into employment.

For more information please visit: http://varb.org.uk