Victim Services Impact Report 2021-22
A message from your Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones:
It has always been my goal to drive down crime and, in the process, ensure there are fewer victims in our communities.
But when crime does occur it is crucial the services provided to help survivors are available, easy to access and of excellent quality.
This report sets out the work being done to ensure those services meet the needs of victims and highlights some of the exceptional work being done.
Victim Lincs was awarded a national quality mark, with assessors praising the “high standards of victim care work” and the way in which staff made people feel “valued and listened to”.
My office has funded training for Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers and secured an additional £390,000 to help services cope with the impact of the pandemic.
We are working alongside partners in local authorities and health services to ensure our approach to tackling sexual violence is amongst the best in the UK.
I am satisfied that we are developing the services our residents deserve but determined to ensure we will always seek ways to improve further.
The local area and local need
Lincolnshire is the fourth most sparsely and largest populated county in England covering an area of 5,921 square km. It is predominately rural, with no motorways, little dual carriageway and 80km of North Sea coastline.
There is significant seasonal fluctuation in population, influenced by the student population in Lincoln and the influx of visitors to the east coast in the summer months.
These defining characteristics provide fundamental challenges in the provision of services.
Population of Lincolnshire:
The population of Lincolnshire is 766,300 (Mid-year population estimate released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) June 2020) This is an increase of 25,000 since 2017. The population is expected to grow to around 844,000 by 2041. The 75+ age range is predicted to increase by 60% between 2021 - 2033.
Lincolnshire's coast stands out as being amongst the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods nationally. Pockets of the major towns and the East Coast of Lincolnshire show relatively higher levels of multiple deprivation in comparison with the rural areas of the county.
The diversity of the population has increased in recent years as a result of new and emerging communities.
As of the 2011 Census, 93% of residents identify themselves as White British, 4% as White Other (this is primarily made of Eastern European communities, which represents much in the agricultural, hospitality and tourist industries). The non-white population makes up of the total population in 2011 compared to 1.4% in 2001. These slight increases remain small in comparison to the national non-white population of 14%.
The PCC's Victims Strategy 2021 - 2025
The PCC's Victims Strategy 2021 -2025 aims to build on and enhance the existing services provided to the public, and sets out how the PCC will work in partnership with other relevant organisations to meet the PCC’s statutory responsibilities to give victims the help, information and support they need, whenever they need it.
In making arrangements to support victims, the PCC will aim to make the best possible use of available resources, take an evidence-based approach to commissioning services, and seek continuous improvement by putting the voice of victims at the very heart of processes to plan, deliver and review services.
The objectives of the strategy are:
- Victims have access to the help they need, whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not.
- The provision of support services will be seamless, integrated, and responsive to victims’ needs throughout their journey through the criminal justice system.
- Timely and responsive services will be available to meet the needs of individuals, especially those with complex needs.
- Commissioning of services will be evidence-based and ensure that feedback from victims about their experience is used to enable continuous improvement.
- Resources are managed efficiently and effectively, ensuring anyone who has been a victim has access to the support they need, whilst providing targeted and specialist services to those with more complex needs.
Victim Services in Lincolnshire
£1.4 million was spent in 2021-22. 70% came from the Ministry of Justice's Victims Grant. 30% came from the PCC's budget.
70% of this was spent on the the PCC's 'in-house' service Victim Lincs. To provide victims with information, advice and support, including referral to specialist services.
18% was spent on outreach support. To provide an outreach support service across Lincolnshire for victims of multi-crime.
40% was spent on support for victims of sexual violence. This includes:
- Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)- confidential medical and practical support, including forensic medical examinations.
- Independent Sexual Violence Advisers for adults and children - tailored emotional and practical support including single point of contact throughout the
criminal just ice process.
7% was spent on Restorative Justice. To provide victims the opportunity to communicate safely with the offender.
15% was spent on domestic abuse services. Whilst domestic abuse support services are commissioned by the County Council, the PCC contributes to the support provision in Lincolnshire.
An award winning in-house service
Victim Lincs is the ‘in-house’ service put in place by the PCC to provide victims with information, advice and support, including referral to specialist services.
The Victim Lincs team are specially trained to provide free, confidential advice and guidance to victims of crime. They can discuss the different support options available and make referrals to specialist coping and recovery services as required.
In 2021, the service was awarded with the 'Victims Choice Quality Mark' by Supporting Justice CIC in recognition of the “high standards of victim care work” and the way in which Victim Lincs staff made people feel “valued and listened to”.
After a crime has been reported to the police, with the victim's permission, the police will refer them to Victim Lincs who will be in touch within two working days. They will provide key information on the case (crime reference number, officer in case details) and deal with any queries or concerns that the victim has, as well as providing practical advice and guidance if required.
A needs assessment will be carried out and an onward referral to specialist support services will be made if appropriate. The case officer may signpost to other services (including national helplines) as appropriate.
Victims can self-refer by contacting Victim Lincs direct. They can also find information and support on the Victim Lincs website, which features a directory of specialist support services available.
Out reach support for victims of multi-crime
The PCC commissions Victim Support to provide an outreach support service across Lincolnshire for victims of multi-crime.
Victim Support provide emotional and practical help to victims of multi-crime in Lincolnshire, regardless of when or where the crime took place or whether a report was made to the police.
Examples of multi-crime include theft, assault, robbery, stalking (where there is no domestic abuse element), hate crime, burglary and robbery.
The service is victim-centered. Independent Victim Advisers (IVAs) work with victims in a structured way to assist them to cope and recover from the impact of crime. They can also advocate on a victim's behalf, provide information, advice and guidance, and refer or signpost to other agencies and sources of help including onward referrals to specialist support.
The majority of referrals to the outreach service are made via Victim Lincs who carry out an initial needs assessment with victims within two working days of the crime being reported to the police.
Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISACs)
In 2021 the PCC provided funding for training for four members of existing service providers to become accredited ISACs. Two of these were within Victim Support's outreach service and two were within EDAN Lincs (who are commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council to provide support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse).
The nine-day training was provided by Paladin who are a trauma-informed service established to assist high risk victims of stalking in England and Wales. The training included presentations from the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. Feedback from those who attended the course was positive and one ISAC provided the following update:
“This has increased my confidence and I have definitely used the knowledge to challenge both Police and CPS. I have had contact with points of contacts in both agencies and in some cases felt really listened to and that I had made a difference”
Support for adult victims of sexual violence
In Lincolnshire, the PCC and NHS England co-commission Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust to deliver a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). The Trust also delivers an Independent Sexual Violence (ISVA) service which is solely funded by the PCC.
Sexual Assault Referral Centre
Spring Lodge -Lincolnshire's Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)- is based in Lincoln and offers confidential medical and practical support, including forensic medical examinations, to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted at any point in their lives.
Independent Sexual Violence Adviser service
The Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, based at Spring Lodge, provides tailored emotional and practical support to anybody who have been the victim of rape or sexual assault at any point in their lives, including referral to specialist support services if required.
The ISVAs act as a single point of contact throughout the criminal justice process up to, and including, court. Even for those who have chosen not to make a report to the police, they can provide impartial information and support.
Support for child victims of sexual violence
Paediatric Sexual Assault Referral Centre
All PCCs within the East Midlands region and NHS England commission East Midlands Sexual Assault Service to provide a paediatric SARC for children and young people under 18. This is located at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Children's Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service
The PCC commissions Victim Support to provide a Children's ISVA service (CHISVA) to support children and young people (up to the age of 18) who have been victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, sexual exploitation and cyber-crime of a sexual nature. This service is called The Castle Service.
Counselling for victims of sexual violence
The PCC grant funds Lincolnshire Rape Crisis and NWCH to provide a counselling service to victims and survivors of sexual violence in Lincolnshire.
Support is provided to anyone who lives or works in Lincolnshire, who has been affected by any form of sexual violence at any point in their lives - regardless of whether they chose to report the crime to the police or not.
The counselling service provides a safe and supportive environment for children, young people, adults, couples and families.
The PCC commissions Restorative Solutions to provide a restorative justice service in Lincolnshire, providing victims the opportunity to communicate safely with the offender.
Restorative Justice offers victims of crime the chance to get answers and an explanation from the offender, where guilt has been admitted.
For many people, restorative justice helps to gain closure following a potentially traumatic experience.
Service users have provided the following quotes:
"This has changed my life for the better. I was able to have my say and get answers to questions I had. My head is starting to clear and I feel like I’ve got my life back."
"It was done in a very positive way. It was run very well."
"A worthwhile process for me. The staff have been great and I would like to thank them."
Whilst domestic abuse support services are commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council, the PCC contributes and provides funding to the support provision in Lincolnshire.
The PCC provides a funding contribution to Lincolnshire County Council Safer Communities to meet shared costs of domestic homicide reviews, strategic management, domestic abuse training and multi-agency risk assessment conferences.
Hospital Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA)
The PCC provides funding for a hospital IDVA. This role enables patients to disclose incidents of domestic abuse, providing immediate support and advice within the hospital setting, linking individuals and families to longer-term community based support.
Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISAC)
In 2021 the PCC provided funding for training for four members of existing service providers to become accredited ISACs. Two of these were within EDAN Lincs (who are commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council to provide support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse) and two were within Victim Support's outreach service.
The 9-day training was provided by Paladin who are a trauma-informed service established to assist high risk victims of stalking in England and Wales. The training included presentations from the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Supporting through a pandemic
In 2021, the PCC secured an additional £390,000 to help services cope with the impact of the pandemic.
The money which came from Ministry of Justice was used to provide new support staff posts to help people recovering from sexual and domestic abuse.
The grant came in the wake of two successful rounds by the PCC to secure special Covid-19 grant funding for support services in the previous year.
The funding resulted in:
- Four Independent Domestic Violence Advisors
- Three Independent Sexual Violence Advisors
- Dedicated therapeutic support to victims of sexual violence, including dedicated support to men and boys
- Funding to support the domestic abuse out reach service commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council.
Number of victims and survivors who received support:
- Victim Lincs - 13894
- Outreach support - 794
- Sexual violence support services - 1646
- Restorative justice - 82
(Lincolnshire County Council commission domestic abuse services and hold this referral data).
80% of victims who accessed support reported they were better able to cope and recover.
The following feedback has been given out support services:
“I just wanted to say you’ve helped me a lot, before our very first session I couldn’t even look in the mirror, now I can” - CHISVA
“The worker assigned was amazing, she constantly made me feel validated and was incredibly supportive throughout. She was exceptional” - ISVA
“You have helped me get through a very dark time, I don’t think I could have done so with out your support. I’m so grateful" - Outreach
Working in partnership, learning and sharing
Victims and Survivors Strategy Group
The Victims and Survivors Strategy Group (VSSG) was put in place by the PCC to enable a collaborative approach to overseeing and driving forward the Victims and Survivors Strategy in Lincolnshire.
Membership is made up of partners across Lincolnshire who play a part in supporting victims and survivors and commissioning services. Alongside staff within the PCC's office, members include police, county council and the University of Lincoln.
PCC's Provider Network
The PCC has established a provider forum to bring together not only those victim services which the PCC commissions, but other victim support providers.
The network meet on a quarterly basis in order to increase professionals’ awareness and understanding of otherservices within Lincolnshire, support the sharing of best practice and the identification of any gaps in services.
Intelligence from this forum feeds into the Victims and Survivors Strategy Group.
Sexual Violence Commissioning Partnership
A Sexual Violence Commissioning Partnership has been developed in response to the recommendations contained in the Independent Sexual Violence Needs Assessment jointly commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire and NHS England and NHS Improvement.
The Partnership is chaired by the PCC's Director of Strategy and Operations and provides governance and oversight of various commissioned services in Lincolnshire, ensuring a partnership approach to tackling sexual violence in Lincolnshire.
Professional Network for ISVA Commissioners
Staff from the PCC's office were invited to join a national Professional Network Group for ISVA Commissioners. The Network will be open to all commissioners with responsibility for ISVA Services, whether within the NHS, Police and Crime Commissioner, or Local Authority framework. More than one representative per organisation may join the Network where each holds explicit commissioning responsibilities for ISVA Services.
The objectives of the Network are:
- Enable Commissioners of ISVA Services to share ideas, learning and information to build confidence and capability
- Explore issues, emerging trends, and best practice to strengthen the response to sexual violence
- Create a safe and confidential space to problem-solve with peers
- Promote collaboration and co-production, driving new and innovative ways of working
- Support Network Members to reduce professional isolation and better maintain their personal and professional well-being
- Pool local knowledge and expertise to inform the national policy context.
The Service Delivery Manager is working with Lime Culture to support the development of Quality Standards for CHISVA services.
Spreading Excellence National Working Group
The PCC's Director of Strategy and Operations (DSO) and Service Delivery Manger (SDM) were invited to become members of a national working group for the Spreading Excellence Programme - funded by the Home Office and delivered by LimeCulture.
The programme's focus is support services for children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse, to align with the Government Strategy 2021.
The working group has supported the development of five virtual workshops to examine the main themes of commissioning and delivering services for children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse.
In February 2021, the DSO and SDM presented a workshop focussed on commissioning child sexual abuse services.
Fast track counselling
The PCC secured £65,000 of non-recurrent funding from NHS England/NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) to put in place a high-quality specialist sexual violence counselling service to meet the specific needs of victims and survivors over the age of 18 who have attended the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.
Following a procurement process, Umbrella Counselling were awarded the contract to deliver this service.
Demand and engagement data will be evaluated along with victim and survivor feedback to inform future commissioning arrangements for this service.
Looking to the future
Sexual violence Co-ordinator
The PCC secured £78,000 of non-recurrent funding from NHSE/I to introduce a dedicated Sexual Violence Co-ordinator role within Victim Lincs.
The role will be in place from August 2022. The co-ordinator will provide an enhanced service to victims of sexual violence and abuse by completing a detailed needs assessments, providing information and advice and making referrals to specialist support services.
Commissioning an outreach service
The current contract to provide outreach support to victims in Lincolnshire is due to end March 2023.
A commissioning group has been formed and work is ongoing to put a future outreach service in place that meets the needs of the public of Lincolnshire.
A needs assessment to inform the requirements of future service has been completed. Service users, service providers and other professionals and key stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on what currently works and suggest improvements for future delivery.
Domestic abuse police referrals
Following consultation with Lincolnshire County Council who commission domestic abuse services, the PCC will increase the remit of Victim Lincs to include police referrals for Domestic Abuse cases.
Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Child Sexual Abuse Pathway
Following the submission of an Expression of Interest by Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) to partner with the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Lincolnshire was selected as one of three pilot areas to test implementation of a newly developed CSA pathway.
The CSA Pathway is a supportive resource that aims to help multi-agency professionals identify and navigate the actions they can and should take, and the interventions they can provide to effectively identify and respond to a child’s safeguarding needs when there are concerns of CSA.
The OPCC is a member of a multi agency CSA steering group, whose objectives are to:
- Promote effective working relationships between all partners, professional groups and voluntary organisations to safeguard children from sexual abuse
- Work with the Centre of Expertise on CSA to develop and embed the CSA Pathway
- Develop and agree a LSCP CSA Strategy and promote its adoption across the partnership
- Facilitate shared learning and gain a better understanding of the profile of child sexual abuse, how to intervene and address the impact on children and families
- Identify opportunities for further commissioning to combat child sexual abuse.
A Lincolnshire CSA Strategy 2022-2025 document and CSA pathway is being developed and will be launched at a multiagency event late 2022.