The Princess Royal today visited Beacon Victim Care, Hertfordshire’s victim care service, at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City. Beacon Victim Care has a primary focus to help victims cope and recover from their experience of crime. Its team of dedicated and trained professionals create personal plans of support which could include emotional support, practical support or advocacy.
Her Royal Highness met with Beacon team members and civic figures from across the county including Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, and Hertfordshire Police Chief Constable Charlie Hall. The visit was made in her capacity as Patron of Catch22, the charity running Beacon Victim Care on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to officially open The Beacon Lodge – a newly refurbished support facility on constabulary grounds and the county’s newest facility for providing one-to-one support to victims of crime. The Lodge acts as safe space for more vulnerable victims of crime to receive support, near to but distinct from police headquarters. The space is shared with Hertfordshire’s domestic abuse service- who also deliver discreet support to those who may not be able to meet in the community or their home.
During the visit, Her Royal Highness also presented five Shining Light awards, celebrating outstanding achievements supporting victims of crime. The Shining Light awards celebrate Beacon’s success delivering support across a broad range of specialities. The Princess presented certificates for achievements including:
- establishing a restorative justice provision,
- supporting child victims of crime,
- providing exceptional office support, and
- outstanding support for individual victims, including a gang related incident.
Emma Jones, Head of Service for Beacon Victim Care said:
“We are delighted that our Patron The Princess Royal has visited us at Hertfordshire Beacon today, and helped us celebrate the team’s commitment to serving victims of crime in Hertfordshire. It was made even more special by having someone who had used our service present to tell his story. Seeing them tell the audience how much Beacon has changed their life showed what a we make through our work.”
Speaking after the visit, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said:
“I’m very proud to welcome The Princess Royal to Beacon and I know she was impressed by the hard work of Constabulary staff and the team from Catch22.
“Beacon has made a huge difference to the lives of people affected by all sorts of crime in the county, and earlier this year we were able to increase the support available to cover even more crimes, which is excellent news.”
Kevin McGetrick, Head of Victims and Commissioning at the Hertfordshire PCC office said:
“This marks a fantastic milestone in the history of Beacon. Three years on from its launch, the service has grown from strength to strength and the visit of Her Royal Highness recognises how important the team’s work is, and I thank staff and Catch22 for that.
“I’m delighted that the Beacon Lodge has also been officially opened as it represents an important development in providing even greater level of support including those who seek support including mediation.”