Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite launches new merged Victim and Witness Hub

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite. - Credit: Archant

A new Victim and Witness Hub is aiming to provide even better to support to victims and witnesses of crime in Cambridgeshire.

The Hub, launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Councillor Jason Ablewhite, is a merger with Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Witness Care Team, and is aiming to provide an ‘end-to-end’ support service to victims and witnesses in the county.

The free Hub service will provide tailored support from care co-ordinators, who will also work closely with the Citizens Advice Bureau to organize pre-trial visits and ensure a volunteer can offer support at court should if required.

Victims can also benefit from face to face emotional support from a team of volunteers trained and accredited by the Hub staff.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said: “When I was elected, I vowed to build on the success of the Victims’ Hub, launched in 2014, to expand and enhance support for people affected by crime. Over the past few months, I have been working closely with the Constabulary to merge victim and witness services so that anyone affected by crime has access to a single, streamlined service.”

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“By pooling resources, we are able to offer a better service from day one, when the crime is reported, throughout the criminal justice process and afterwards. This leads to people having more confidence in reporting crimes which in turn works more effectively for the good of society.”

One of the first people to benefit from the new service was a victim of domestic abuse - a woman in her early 50s - who contacted police after being assaulted by her husband and enduring years of emotional abuse.

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She was referred to the Hub for support and spoke to a co-ordinator on the phone seven times over the next six weeks until her case concluded at court.

The co-ordinator not only offered emotional support, helped with applying for a restraining order but also kept her updated on court proceedings including the final outcome.

At the end of the case she said she was “overwhelmed with the level of support from beginning to end” and that she “would not have been able to go through the process without the support in place”.

She added that she “now has full confidence in the police in reporting domestic abuse and would like to do something to encourage other victims to come forward.”

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