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Last updated: 21 June 16:30
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A new website giving victims access to all support services in the county has been launched.
The website called Signpost (www.signpostforbedfordshire.com) directs victims to the help and support they need as easily as possible.
It lists all key support services for victims, with contact details for a range of different crimes from rape and child sexual exploitation, to hate crime.
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, said: “It is important to me the service also explains to victims how to report the crimes they have experienced and explains what will happen next to help give them confidence to report crimes to police, to bring them real justice.” Those voluntary organisations which are already funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner are included along with others, whose services are quality assured by the Bedfordshire Victims’ Partnership. The website, which has been in consultation over the last few months, was shown to partners and organisations across Bedfordshire yesterday (Tuesday).
At the event it was also unveiled a centre of excellence enhancing the practical and emotional support services available to all victims of crime is being created at Bedfordshire Police.
The new victims’ hub will be based at Kempston Headquarters and will take over from the current service provider Victim Support, to go live on 1 April 2018.
Detective Chief Superintendent Sharn Basra said: “We are really excited about the new service which will give first class support and care for victims of crime. It will be a one-stop-shop for everything a victim of crime needs to know offering practical and emotional support, referrals to specialist support and victims will be able to keep up-to-date with the progress of their case.
“The decision behind the move has been made after careful consideration, thorough research and consultations which have taken place nationally. It will reinforce the force’s commitment to putting victims at the heart of everything we do and be responsive to their needs, helping to improve victim satisfaction.
“The new service will also be a champion and advocate for victims by improving our understanding and responding to their needs. This will give victims greater confidence and satisfaction throughout the whole process, from reporting a crime through to attending court.”