Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Victim Care Centre Beacon celebrates one year anniversary
More than fifty thousand victims of crime in Hertfordshire have been offered support from Hertfordshire victim care centre Beacon, as the centre marks its one year anniversary in operation.

The care centre, which offers free and confidential practical and emotional support for victims in Hertfordshire, has offered support to some 52,934 victims between its launch on 1st April 2015 and 29th February 2016.

In addition, since its creation 1,485 particularly vulnerable victims were offered a new ‘enhanced’ care package to those who need it most. This enhanced service offers elderly or repeat victims for example, a full needs assessment to develop a package of care bespoke to their individual needs.

Just shy of 300 cases were also referred to the Hertfordshire Home Security Service who run home visits for vulnerable victims to offer reassurance by checking homes for and implementing safety measures such as crime prevention, and fire safety.

 Beacon was launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire in April 2015, and is jointly run by the charity Victim Support and Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Victim Service Team to make contact with all victims of crime, regardless of whether the crime itself has been reported to police. Furthermore, Victim Support’s service will remain confidential for victims who do not wish to have police involvement.

In addition to making contact with all identified victims of crime the centre offers support and provides single point of contact for updates on investigations, so victims can easily keep abreast of progress of their case. The centre’s hotline and website (www.hertfordshirebeacon.org) offers a means of accessing services and support, even when the matter has not been reported to police or if a victim has changed their minds on the opportunity for support at the time of the incident.

Head of Victims Commissioning Services Kevin McGetrick said: “In just one year, we have completely transformed the way victims access support here in Hertfordshire to cope and recover from the effects of crime. Offering support to over fifty thousand victims is an incredible marker for a first year in operation. The volume of calls highlights that those unfortunate enough to be a victim of crime are no longer going it alone and have access to support mechanisms, be they emotional or practical to help them recover from their ordeal.”

Currently there are 34 Victim Service Team and eight Victim Support Staff working in Beacon. Additional service providers will be added during the coming months and it is anticipated that staffing levels would match any increase in demand.

Victims of crime can access information and advice to access services via the website www.hertfordshirebeacon.org or by calling the hotline 03000 11 55 55, which is open daily from 7am to 10pm. Calls are charged at a local rate.