Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Beverley Hughes has reiterated her commitment to making sure victims of crime get the best support possible in Greater Manchester.
She met with Baroness Helen Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, to talk about the work going on to help victims in Greater Manchester yesterday (Tuesday, August 7).
The Deputy Mayor has recommitted to providing the best support possible for all victims of crime and has praised the work that goes on to help them across Greater Manchester.
Baroness Newlove got the chance to visit one organisation helping victims and other vulnerable people in the city-region which is supported by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Baroness Hughes said: “I am pleased to have welcomed Baroness Newlove to Greater Manchester to hear about all of the important work that is going on here to support victims of crime.
“Baroness Newlove referred specifically to the impressive work in Greater Manchester to support victims following the Arena attack. I was able to tell her about recent developments including the joint work between health and criminal justice and the work to support victims of dramatic and serious assault that is going on in the city-region.
“We are dedicated to making it easier for victims of crime to get what they need, regardless of when the crime took place or if it was reported to the police. By working together with all our partner agencies we want to radically transform and improve the way victims’ services are delivered in Greater Manchester, putting victims and survivors of crime at the heart of everything we do.
“While we are proud of the work we are doing to support victims, there is always more we can do to make sure that everybody doesn’t just get support, but the right support for them personally. I am confident we can continue to work together with our partners to do this.”
The visit was centred around providing proper evidence and examples of the good work that is going on in Greater Manchester with the hope that it might be shared in future with other areas.
Baroness Newlove also visited the Salford Foundation, a charity which supports the vocational, personal, social and academic development of young people and adults in Salford, Greater Manchester and the North West.
Through Programme Challenger, Greater Manchester’s partnership approach to tackling serious and organised crime, GMCA provides funding to the Salford Foundation for its STEER project, which provides one-to-one support and mentoring to young people at risk of involvement in gangs and violent crime. The programme has been a huge success in supporting young people, many of whom are often victims of crime themselves.
The Salford Foundation helps to provide effective early intervention and prevention as a trusted charity partner of GMP, local authorities and GMCA, designing effective solutions. The young people the charity work with are often resistant to getting help from authorities so they work hard to build trust and engage young people effectively in the project.
While visiting the centre, Baroness Newlove got the chance to speak to organisers about the various work they do and also speak to some of the service users.
Phil East, Deputy Chief Executive of the Salford Foundation, said: “We are taking a different approach to supporting victims and keeping young people away from organised crime. It was a pleasure to welcome Baroness Newlove to our organisation and talk about the work we do here.
“We were keen to share learning with the Victims' Commissioner and to see if our approach can be used in other areas and also for her to meet with some of our service users to hear about how we have helped them and the benefits of our work to the wider community.”
The Deputy Mayor told Baroness Newlove about other initiatives working in Greater Manchester to help victims, including project Guardian, which provides support for victims of FGM, and the Greater Manchester Wide approach to domestic abuse, STRIVE.
Bev Hughes spoke of the dedicated GMP staff in local hubs in each division who lead on victim services. This has helped lead to a reduction in waiting times and increased the efficiency of access to support.
Baroness Newlove said: “Some of the work I have seen here in Greater Manchester is mind-blowing. The Salford Foundation are helping to prevent our victims of the future and those already sucked into the web of child exploitation. It is visits like this which really makes the value of early intervention hit home.”
To find out more about Victims’ Services in Greater Manchester, go to www.gmvictims.org.uk