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Victims of crime reminded about free, confidential support service

L-R Ron Hogg, Barry Coppinger and John Bentley (VCAS)

Image L-R: Ron Hogg, Barry Coppinger and John Bentley (Chief Executive, VCAS)

Victims of crime in Cleveland, County Durham and Darlington are being urged to take advantage of a free confidential support service provided by Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS), one year since it began.

Funded by Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger and Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg, VCAS helps victims make positive steps in their lives after becoming a victim of crime.

Since it was launched in April 2016, VCAS has reached out to almost 4000 victims, with over 1000 accessing intensive one-to-one support. They provide support for crimes ranging from significant school bullying through to serious assaults and robbery.

Each victim has a case worker who provides them with access to the best support available to them, from a range of public and voluntary sector organisations.

As well as supporting the victim, Victim Care and Advice Service also provide advice and support to the victim's family and friends.

Barry Coppinger said: “VCAS has a strong team of staff committed to improving and developing the service provided to local victims.

“I have been impressed with the work so far and feedback from victims has been positive. I hope people will make use of the service in the future as it is there to help.”

Ron Hogg said: “Ensuring victims of crime receive the best possible service is at the heart of my Police, Crime and Victims’ Plan. The service helps a victim, and their family or friends, to cope during a traumatic time in their lives.

“I encourage anyone affected by crime in our area to contact VCAS, so they can benefit from the free support available to them.”

Dave Mead, Team Leader at Victim Care and Advice Service, said: "It has been a privilege to meet with and support people who have fallen victim to crime across the Cleveland area. We are constantly impressed with the courage, decency and humour displayed by many of our clients when coping with the initial impact of the crime, through to their ultimate recovery.

“I would also like to thank our partner organisations who work alongside us to deliver a high-quality service and I would ask anyone who is struggling to cope with the impact of crime to get in touch.”

If you’ve been a victim of crime and need support, you can visit the VCAS website on www.victimcareandadviceservice.uk or call them on 0303 0401 099.

Posted on Wednesday 12th April 2017
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