Fulfilling my responsibilities to victims of crime is probably the most important part of my work, writes Paddy Tipping, Polcie and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
A great proportion of the decisions I make are to help people recover and cope following emotionally and psychologically damaging experiences of crime and abuse.
Nowhere has this been more urgent than in dealing with non-recent allegations of child sexual abuse.
We’ve come a long way to improve the way we support and help those who have suffered unthinkable trauma.
I’ve worked very hard with survivors, help groups and partners, listening to experiences, learning lessons from mistakes and developing new and effective services which gain the trust of those they aim to help.
The hearings of the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) have now closed and I look forward to the report’s findings in the summer because it will set an important agenda for the future.
I would like to thank all of those people who came forward to give, at times, harrowing testimonies of the way they were treated.
Their courage will change lives and ensure anybody else experiencing abuse receives the very best services to support their recovery in the future.
So far ten convictions have been secured resulting in cumulative sentences of more than 80 years.
I’m well aware more work needs to be done but the positive news is more funding and resources are available to do it.
Provision for sexual violence support has more than doubled to £877,000 in 2018-19 and this figure is set to grow further in 2019-20.
I’m committed to ensuring victims have the very best opportunity to heal which is why I’ve substantially increased my investment into these services.
I’ve no doubt there will be a lot to be learned from this inquiry and some of it may make unpalatable reading but we must welcome it, embrace it and build on this knowledge.