History of the Service
The first Victim Support scheme was set up in Bristol in 1974. By 1986, every county in England and Wales had at least one Victim Support scheme.
In 2015 following the revision of the Victims code, funding for victim support services was devolved from central government to local police and crime commissioners. Citizens Advice Stoke and North Staffs were successful in both winning and retaining the tender in 2020 for the Staffordshire Victims Gateway and Restorative Justice Service.
Whilst the service is commissioned by Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Staffordshire was the first area in the country to pioneer this new approach. The commissioner’s office acknowledged that due to the complexity, fragmented nature and quality of the services that victims and their families were able to access, alongside the experience of courts, and the criminal justice system, that could sometimes be non-user friendly; it was recognised that this could be as challenging and traumatic as the original incident.
Therefore, the service was to improve on the victim’s experience; help them to cope and recover in the most appropriate way, whilst ensuring their individual circumstances were taken into account.
Matthew Ellis, (Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime) tells us about the journey of victim’s services in Staffordshire.
Thank you. You have put it all into perspective for me, and the process is clear in my head now