Jackie Farquharson has been appointed as the new Victims' Champion for Dorset. This role ensures that Dorset Police provides victims with the support and information they need on their journey through the criminal justice system.
Jackie said: "I'm really excited to be starting in this role. A great deal of positive work has been undertaken to improve the support of victims and witnesses but there is still a disparity between victim code compliance and reality: my appointment reflects the recognition that more can be done.
"In the next month I will be establishing a Victims' Champion Forum and inviting key officers and staff to identify problems to delivering the Victims Code and to finding solutions."
The Commissioner was the first PCC nationally to sign a contract to locally commission the services of the independent charity, Victim Support.
The Commissioner holds regular surgeries with victims of crime in Dorset. Being a victim or witness of crime can be distressing and traumatic.
Through these surgeries, it became clear to Commissioner that improving support for victims was a priority. Since October 2014, the Commissioner has funded Victim Support services in Dorset. This facilitated the doubling of the size of the Victim Support team to ensure that the charity could be more effective than ever before.
From inception to the beginning of April 2017, the service received 36,750 referrals from Dorset Police, of which 25,857 identified needs. 1,462 children and young people received support from specially trained case workers, alongside 1,222 victims of domestic abuse and 4,171 families following burglaries.
In total, 9,140 hours of face to face and telephone support has been provided.
The service aims to increase victim satisfaction and importantly, the support offered now extends to businesses experiencing crime as well as individual victims.
If you’ve been affected by crime, call the Victim Support team in Dorset on 0300 3030 163.