Photo of Jim Cunningham

Jim Cunningham (Coventry South, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent steps his Department has taken to work with the third sector on support for victims of crime.

Photo of Crispin Blunt

Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation); Reigate, Conservative)

The voluntary sector plays a key role in the provision of support for victims and witnesses of crime. The Ministry of Justice works closely with the sector to ensure that victims receive the support they need.

For the first time, we have entered into a three year funding agreement with Victim Support, the national charity for victims and witnesses of crime. This will enable Victim Support to invest in long-term service provision focused on those victims and witnesses of the most serious crimes, those who are most vulnerable and those who are persistently targeted.

As part of the Government's wider strategy to end violence against women and girls, we have put voluntary sector rape support centres on a secure financial footing for the first time, with 65 centres around the country receiving grant funding of nearly £3 million a year for this and the next two years. We are also working in partnership with the sector to develop new rape support centres where there are gaps in provision, with four new centres opened to date.

Between them, over 100 voluntary sector organisations are receiving grant funding of more than £29 million for this and the next two years from the Victim and Witness General Fund.

In a statement to the House on 30 January 2012, Hansard, columns 551-53, the Justice Secretary launched a consultation on far-reaching proposals to further improve the support provided to victims and witnesses of crime.

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