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When a crime is committed it can ruin lives and devastate families. That’s why it is so important that victims who need support are able to access the right services at the right time. That help must be tailored for the individual, as every crime is different.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has a budget of £5 million to spend on victims of crime and to help them recover from their ordeal. That money is used to fund services from a range of organisations.

Victim’s Code of Practice

The Code of Practice for Victims is the statutory code that sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive from the criminal justice system.

Key entitlements under the Victims’ Code include the right to be kept informed about case progress; make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) to explain the impact of the crime and have it read out in court, with permission; be referred to victim support services; apply for compensation; and apply for special measures in court for vulnerable, intimidated or young victims.

The Code aims to ‘transform the criminal justice system by putting victims first, making the system more responsive and easier to navigate’. It states that ‘victims of crime should be treated in a respectful, sensitive, tailored and professional manner without discrimination of any kind’ and ‘should receive appropriate support to help them, as far as possible, to cope and recover and be protected from re-victimisation’.

The Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses (Victims’ Commissioner) has within their remit a duty to ‘keep under review the operation of the Code of practice’ and it is important that as providers of support, compliance with the Code is adhered to.

Click here to read the full version of the Victims Code.

PCC Funding

The Victims Fund is available to voluntary or community organisations that help people to cope and recover from their experience of crime.

Any organisation can apply for up to £20,000 to help deliver its services. Organisations can apply on their own or they can join together and form a partnership.

You can apply for this funding here.

Supporting victims of crime is one of the PCC’s top priorities. This funding has been making a real difference to people’s lives since 2014 and will continue to do so.

West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network: National Referral Mechanism Explanatory Document

With funding from the West Midlands OPCC via the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit in 2019, West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network have produced a multi lingual explanatory document which explains in detail, the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for use by First Responders for survivors of Modern Slavery at the point of identification in the West Midlands.

It will include realistic and accurate information from professionals about the process a survivor could expect if they were to consent to an NRM referral and the potential outcomes and opportunities if they decided not to consent to an NRM referral. The ‘accessing support as a victim of modern slavery (adult)’ document can be downloaded in Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Lithuanian, Latvian, Slovakian, Romanian, Roma, Polish and Vietnamese as well as English here.