New hub offers support to crime victims in Blackpool

Claire Powell of Victim Support and Robert Ruston of the Lancashire PCC office
Claire Powell of Victim Support and Robert Ruston of the Lancashire PCC office

Every victim of crime on the Fylde coast can expect access to support and expert advice following the opening of a new hub.

A new multi-million pound victim support service is being rolled out across Lancashire with Blackpool just one of the towns to benefit.

Launching the service Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said he hopes to increase by half the number of people accessing the service.

Professionals and volunteers are now operating out of a new base at Blackpool Technology Park, offering their services to the victims of every crime.

Mr Grunshaw said: “What we want is the best possible service for the people of Blackpool.

“Our ambition is to make sure the service is the best it can be.

“In Blackpool, where there are very specific problems, linked to domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, it is vital that people know where they can turn.

“In the past we have had lots of individual contracts. A lot of work was done very well but there were times when people didn’t have access to or agencies didn’t deliver the service we would have expected.”

Mr Grunshaw expects the service to grow massively in the coming months.

“At the moment we support around 40,000 people every year. That figure we expect to rise to 60,000.”

The new hub service is operated by national charity Victim Support which not only has the expertise to provide its own help and support but operates within a wider network of specialist organisations.

Contract Manager Claire Powell explained how each case was different.

She explained how every victim was contacted by telephone when their details were passed on by police.

Claire said: “It might be that somebody who is a victim of a low level crime needs specialist support while somebody who is a victim of a more serious offence, through their own resilience, does not need our help.

“It does not matter, we will always work to help those who need us.

“We have a base in Blackpool but people can contact us in many other ways.We operate outreach groups, offer one to one support and work with a range of agencies.

“We have volunteers from all walks of life who bring their specialist experience to help others.”