Every crime has a psychological impact, regardless of whether or not there was a monetary loss.
In Nottinghamshire, I’ve made it my goal to put the needs of victims first and so along with delivering effective justice, I want to make sure that victims of crime are given the help they need right from the start to be able to recover emotionally from their ordeal.
Not everybody will need or desire these services immediately, but it’s vitally important that those victims who require support later down the road have access to the right help when they’re ready.
Latest crime figures for the Mansfield and Ashfield area show a promising picture of community safety and provide some evidence that our prevention strategies are bearing fruit. Fewer crimes mean fewer victims and from the perspective of crime reduction this is the measure of success that I’m most concerned with.
All crime in the Mansfield and Ashfield area has fallen by 6.6 per cent which represents an actual reduction of 425 offences. This performance is better than the county as a whole which saw crime fall by 4.5 per cent.
Many other categories of crime have also seen sweeping reductions including violence against the person which saw a 17.7 per cent reduction (337 less offences), violence with injury which fell by 18.2 per cent (177 fewer offences) and sexual offences which reduced by 14.2 per cent (28 less offences).
Drug taking remains a top priority area for many communities and it’s pleasing to see a 17.2 per cent reduction in drug offences which represents an actual drop of 44 offences.
Meanwhile, hate crime offences have fallen by 13.4 per cent (11 offences).
As often is the case in summer, reports of burglary and antisocial behaviour have increased at 18.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively. While security can be compromised at this time of the year with the prevalence of open windows and doors, this isn’t a situation we should tolerate. After all, the violation of someone’s personal space and property can have a devastating impact on a person’s confidence and emotional wellbeing; these are the very circumstances in which a victim is likely to require additional support and I want to make sure this help is in place.
We are currently approaching the end of the tendering process to deliver my new Victims’ CARE (Cope and Recovery Empowerment) model for victims of crime. The service will be up and running from 1 January 2017, when contracts for existing services come to an end on 31 December this year.
The new model has been designed on the basis of victims’ experiences and will offer support for victims who don’t report their ordeal to police as well as those who do.
I’ve made a commitment to give victims a voice and I believe the new model that has been created will see services improve and a far greater number of people helped as a result.