Crime: Victims

Justice written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham PPS (Mr Mike O'Brien, Minister of State), Department for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent steps the Government has taken to work with the third sector when supporting victims of crime.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Following a recent public consultation, the Ministry of Justice has published a Third Sector Strategy which sets out the Department's commitment to working with the Third Sector.

Victim Support, an independent charity, is the Government's main provider of services to victims and witnesses of crime across England and Wales. Over recent years annual Government funding to Victim Support has increased from £11.7 million to £30 million. The Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) has provided additional investment in Victim Support to rollout Victim Support Plus nationally (£5.6 million in 2007-08 and £7 million in 2008-09).

In addition, the Government funds a number of specialist services for victims of individual crime types. The charity Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) receives a grant of £140,000 a year to provide services to family and friends bereaved through murder and manslaughter.

Over the last four years, we have invested £6.5 million in specialist services for victims through the Victims Fund, with the majority going directly to Third Sector organisations. In 2008-09 a further £1.75 million has been invested into the fund. Specialist services that receive funding through the Victims Fund provide support to victims of sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse, hate crime and homicide.

Since 2003 the Government has worked in partnership with Eaves Housing for Women to deliver bespoke specialist services for women trafficked into sexual exploitation, through the Poppy project. We are investing a further £1.3 million into the project this year, taking the total to £5.8 million since it opened.

In 2007-08 the Government provided £3 million for Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs), trained specialists who provide a service to victims who are at high risk of harm, to support victims as their cases progress through Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs).

The Youth Crime Action Plan, published on 15 July 2008 will include proposals to support young victims of crime.

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