PCC Ron Hogg has established three key principal commissioning activities:
- Community Safety Fund
- Community Safety Grant, (details below)
- Commissioned services for victims of crime (details below).
How the Community Safety Grant is allocated
The Police and Crime Commissioner allocates funding to two council community safety partnerships:
- Safe Durham Partnership
- Darlington Community Safety Partnership
The two partnerships allocate the funds to local activities agreed upon by representatives of the partner organisations that sit on the respective local Boards.
In 2015/16 the Safe Durham Partnership allocated monies (£500,548) to the following activities:
- Anti-Social Behaviour Officers (£131,883);
- Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service (£177,793);
- Adult Offender Mentor (£30,000);
- CDYOS Pre-Court and Positive Futures (£160,872).
In 2015/16 the Darlington Community Safety Partnership allocated monies (£66,653) to the following activities:
- Development of a Desistance Model (£10,032);
- No Bother - Detached Youth Service Work (£10,775);
- Safer Homes in Darlington (Fire Service) ((£20,000);
- Domestic Abuse Training Programme (£4,000);
- Harbour 27 Week Perpetrator Programme (£6,334);
- CSP Campaigns and Awareness / Emerging Issues (£10,000);
- Not Allocated (£5,512).
How the PCC commissions services for victims of crime
The Ministry of Justice passed a new funding stream for Victims Commissioning in 2013-14 to Police and Crime Commissioners. This included funding for Restorative Justice, Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse in 2014-15. From April 2015, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) have been responsible for commissioning of the majority of support services for victims of crime.
As part of their commissioning strategy, Cleveland and Durham PCCs have spent the past two years engaging with victims, partners and a variety of other stakeholders to research and evaluate current arrangements for victim referral and support.
This work has included:
- Information gathered from focus groups and interviews with victims of crime;
- Face to face and on-line consultation with victims and the wider community;
- Feedback from PCC workshops and conferences;
- Dip sampling and scrutiny of the existing victim referral and support service;
- Engagement with partners involved in the Cleveland and Durham Victim and Witness Planning Groups;
- A review of national policy and guidance;
- Existing local and national evidence and research.
The results of this work indicate that current arrangements are somewhat limited in terms of offering a victim-focused service that is based on collaboration with key partners and tailored to the needs of individual victims.
Local commissioning of services provides the opportunity to develop new ways of working that begin to address a number of key priorities highlighted by victims:
- Ensuring victims are treated with dignity, respect and sensitivity;
- Consistency of response to victims that validates their concerns and deals with immediate issues such as emotional wellbeing, safety and security;
- Effective prioritisation and needs assessment that is undertaken in a timely and appropriate manner;
- Support delivered based on the individual needs of the victim rather than the type of crime;
- An acknowledgement that victims are central to and have a vested interest in how their case progresses;
- Improved co-ordination across agencies and more efficient referral and handover processes;
- Better information and accessibility in relation to availability and eligibility of support.
In addition, the requirements of the Victims’ Code and the EU Directive on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime have been taken into account when developing potential models of service delivery as have the recommendations included in the Victims Services Commissioning Framework.
The following documents have assisted our understanding:
Victims Commissioning Information
Following significant engagement with and support to potential bidders a procurement exercise to deliver integrated victim services was launched with a closing date of the 23 November 2015.
The OPCC is pleased to confirm that five bids were received and the decision has been taken to award the contract to Safe in Tees Valley Ltd from April 2016.
A transition period has been built into the contract to allow for ongoing development between the new provider and the OPCC as well as ensuring that delivery of the service is not disrupted.