£2.8m deal secures four more years of care and support from 'flagship' centre for victims of crime in Hertfordshire
A £2.8m contract to care for victims of crime has been agreed by the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Hertfordshire.
The four-year deal, to begin in April, ensures those who live in the county will continue to benefit from one of the UK's most comprehensive schemes run through the Hertfordshire Beacon Victim Care Centre.
Independent case managers can provide emotional and practical support to victims for everything from criminal damage to serious sexual assaults and murder – even if they have not reported the offence to police.
The contract was renewed with Catch22, a not-for-profit business with a social mission, which has helped run Beacon since 2017 with Hertfordshire Constabulary's victim services team.
PCC David Lloyd is responsible for ensuring provision of victim support services, but it is funded by central government.
He said: "Beacon is a flagship victim service centre. Here in Hertfordshire, we have one of the largest teams of victim service professionals in the country. Catch22 have been key to this and I'm delighted they'll be carrying on with us.
"Beacon ensures victims are cared for and kept updated as their case progresses through the investigation and judicial system.
"Historically, victims support was often run by volunteers, but our model is staffed by professionals working to a service delivery programme that has provided evidence of positive outcomes. It's a long way from the traditional idea that victims are only offered sympathy with a cup of tea and slice of cake.
"I've ensured continued investment in Beacon so it now has additional specialist teams which work with the victims of domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and fraud."