Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has awarded Catch22 a contract to provide enhanced support to victims of crime across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The new contract, awarded to Catch22 who have been delivering this service since 2015, includes a host of new and improved services to help victims, including children and young people, recover from their experience. Launching from April 2024, the refreshed service will run until March 2027 and will benefit more than 70,000 victims and witnesses of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) every year.
The Commissioner, Rupert Matthews, said:
“Catch22 made it clear that they are committed to the type of service that I want to see, and the quality of service that our residents deserve.
“Victims of crime are the most important element of the criminal justice system, and I am determined that they will receive the best service possible throughout the whole process. This contract will see victims able to access the service at any point – not just in the aftermath of the crime – most notably if their case goes to court.
“I made it clear on my election that I would improve services for victims. This contract is a big step in the right direction and I will scrutinise its success closely.
“Importantly, increased confidence in the service provided to victims encourages more people to report crime. This is what I want to see so that more people receive support. In addition, the more people report crime, the more likely it is that the police can bring the offenders to justice.”
The new system will deliver a raft of enhanced services. This includes:
- initial telephone and triage support, ongoing trauma trained phone and face-to-face support and specialist support for young people aged under 18 and 19-24 year-olds,
- an educational and community outreach programme will be introduced to make it easier for anyone reluctant to access support to receive the help they need,
- a restorative justice service to support out of court disposals and reduce reoffending. This is an approach to justice that aims to help repair the harm caused by crime by creating an opportunity for victims and those responsible for the offence to meet, discuss what happened and communicate their needs, and
- improved digital engagement so victims can access services easily from mobile devices.
- The new model will be able to mobilise a major incident response. This means that in the instance of a largescale community incident, support and signposting help services will be made available rapidly for the wider community as well as victims directly.
- Catch22 will work closely with Leicestershire Police to deliver a victim liaison unit. This will provide tailored support to people who are vulnerable or repeat victims of crime.
Matt Randle, Director of Justice at Catch22, said:
“We’re proud to have been selected to continue delivering high quality services for victims in Leicestershire and we’re always looking to evolve our delivery so it meets the needs of those we work with.
“Our focus will be on ensuring victims are easily able to access support – whether that’s through their mobile phones or in-person – as well as providing additional specialist support for children and young people who are affected by crime. We firmly believe in the power of restorative justice, and this too will form a central part of the new look service.”