Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Commissioner launches Beacon - a brand new support centre for victims of crime in Hertfordshire
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, is launching a brand new service for victims of crime in Hertfordshire, offering an enhanced service for those who need it most.
 
The Hertfordshire Victim Care Centre, called Beacon, went live on 1st April and will provide an innovative new arrangement with Victim Support working directly alongside the Constabulary’s Victim Service Team.
 
Operating out of a single hub, the new service will provide a complete ‘wrap-around’ provision for victims, with vulnerable or repeat victims being identified early on for an enhanced care package.
 
Importantly, this service will be available free to all victims of crime, including those who have decided not to report the matter to police, or who have changed their mind about needing support and choose to make contact in the weeks or months after the incident. Furthermore, Victim Support’s service will remain confidential, for victims who do not wish to have police involvement.
 
Until last year, Victim Support was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to supply a generic nationwide service for victims. However from April 2014, responsibility for commissioning victims’ services in Hertfordshire transferred over to Police and Crime Commissioners. Hertfordshire’s PCC David Lloyd has now taken the opportunity to reshape the service around the standards of care and service that victims have told him they want. 
 
Commissioner Lloyd said: “The launch of Beacon represents a step-change in the level of support victims of crime in Hertfordshire receive. It will give those who have been strongly affected by their experiences the best possible chance of coping and recovering from their ordeal.
 
“This is a made-to-measure service for the county, based on what victims have said they want. Victims have told me they want to be heard, they want a single point of contact, they want to be kept up to date on the investigation and they want to be able to access support at any time, not just in the days and weeks following the offence.
 
“Whether they want to speak to someone for emotional support or practical support, for instance in changing door locks, Beacon will provide a single place which will meet their needs. Hertfordshire is leading the way in supporting victims of crime, putting them back at the heart of the criminal justice system.”
 
He added: “It is important to remember that tax payers in Hertfordshire will not pay a penny more for this service. The money spent on victims’ services is raised nationally through the Victim Surcharge imposed by courts on offenders.”
 
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Adams, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “Victim care starts at the moment a victim of crime tells someone about it. We hope that that ‘someone’ will be the police, so we can begin an investigation and bring the perpetrator to justice. However, we recognise that not everyone will be comfortable reporting a crime, and we are working hard as a service to address this issue. In the meantime, however, it is very reassuring that victims will get the help, advice and support they need, even if they do not report it to the police straight away.
 
“I am proud that Hertfordshire Constabulary is playing in integral role in the victim care service and I am confident that it will encourage the small number of victims who do not report their crime to do so.”
 
Heather Robbie, Hertfordshire manager for Victim Support, said: “We know from helping thousands of victims and witnesses in Hertfordshire every year just how badly some people can be affected by a crime. That's why it's so important that practical and emotional support services are available across the county.
 
“As an independent charity we continue to give victims of crime a strong voice and to make sure they get the help they need and the respect they deserve.
 
“Here in Hertfordshire Victim Support will be working closely with the police to identify what each victim needs and then to offer the right help for them. This will mean liaising with mental health, social care and Hertfordshire Home Safety services as well as other providers of support for some victims.
 
"We look forward to working closely with the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, Hertfordshire Constabulary and our partners to help victims of crime find the strength to cope and recover.”
 
On 1st April, the new Beacon website went live at www.hertfordshirebeacon.org, providing victims with information and advice to access support. The hotline 0300 011 55 55 will be open daily from 7am to 10pm for victims to contact the centre direct. Victims who report crimes committed against them to police will automatically be contacted by the centre.
 
Victims of fraud in the county should continue to report their crime to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040 however they too can access support services by contacting Beacon direct.