Victims and Survivor Services Impact Report 2022-23
A key responsibility as your Police and Crime Commissioner is to be the champion of victims and survivors of crime and to commission the majority of support services for those in need following an incident.
Over the past year, we have made significant strides in ensuring that victims and survivors receive the care and support they deserve. This report highlights the progress we have made, the achievements we have celebrated, and the plans we have for the future.
A major accomplishment has been the commissioning of a new victims outreach support service. After a thorough evaluation process, the contract was awarded again to 'Victim Support'. This partnership has proven invaluable in providing crucial assistance to victims, offering them the guidance and resources needed to navigate the challenging aftermath of crime.
I am particularly proud to announce the appointment of a new Sexual Violence Coordinator within Victim Lincs. This dedicated professional has already made a substantial impact by ensuring that victims of sexual violence are promptly referred to specialist coping and recovery services. This vital support helps survivors heal and rebuild their lives, emphasising our commitment to addressing the unique needs of those affected by such heinous acts.
Throughout the year, we have witnessed numerous achievements, including effective collaboration with partner organisations and bringing additional funding to Lincolnshire to ensure the crucial services provided to help survivors are available, easy to access, and of excellent quality.
My dedicated team, in conjunction with valued partners, has worked tirelessly to address the diverse needs of victims and provide them with a supportive environment in which they can begin their journey towards healing.
Looking ahead, we have ambitious plans for the future, including the development of a new and enhanced website for victims of crime. This user- friendly platform will provide easy access to information and advice, ensuring that victims, as well as their friends and family, can quickly find the support they need. The website will cover a wide range of topics, including available support services, information about victims' rights under the government's victims' code, and guidance on what to expect from the criminal justice system.
As I reflect on the accomplishments we have achieved thus far, I am filled with pride and gratitude for the hard work and dedication exhibited by my office, as well as the strong collaborative relationships we have fostered with our partners. Together, we are building a victim support system that is compassionate, responsive, and empowering. This report stands as a testament to our commitment and serves as a reminder that there is still much more to be done.
The local area and local need
Lincolnshire is the fourth most sparsely and largest populated county in England covering an area of 5,921 sq. km. It is predominately rural, with no motorways, little dual carriageway and 80km of North Sea coastline.
There is a significant seasonal fluctuation in the 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.
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 (primarily made of Eastern European communities, which represents much of the agricultural, hospitality and tourist industries). The non-white population makes up 2.4% of the total population in 2011 compared to 1.4% in 2011. These slight increases remain small in comparison to the national non-white population of 14%.
Population of Lincolnshire
The population of Lincolnshire is 766,300 (Mid-year population estimate released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) June 2020) (Mid-year population estimate released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) June 2020). The population is predicted to grow to around 844,000 by 2041. The population has increased by 25,000 since 2017. The 75+ age range is predicted to increase by 60% between 2021 - 2033.
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 and Survivor Services in Lincolnshire
£1.6m was spent on victim and survivor services in 2022-23. 90% came from the MOJ's victims grant. 10% came from the PCC's budget.
15% was spent on the PCC's 'in-house' service, Victim Lincs. To provide victims with information, advice and support, including referral to specialist services.
17% was spent on outreach support. To provide an outreach support service across Lincolnshire for victims of multi-crime.
45% 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 Advisors for adults and children - tailored emotional and practical support including single point of contact throughout the criminal justice process.
- Counselling and other support.
7% was spent on Restorative Justice. To provide victims with the opportunity to communicate safely with the offender.
16% was spent on domestic abuse services. While 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.
Outreach 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, robbery and fraud.
In addition, the service includes tailored support for victims of hate crime.
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 (ISAC)
The Outreach support service includes three Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISACs) who are trained to support victims of stalking. They work closely with Victim Lincs and Lincolnshire Police to ensure victims of stalking are able to access support at the earliest opportunity.
Support for adult victims of sexual violence
In Lincolnshire, the PCC and NHS England co-commission Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (LPFT) 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 Advisor service
The Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, based at Spring Lodge, provides tailored emotional and practical support to anybody who has 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 and other support for victims of sexual violence
The PCC provides funding to ensure that victims of sexual crimes have access to counselling and support services.
Umbrella Counselling, Lincolnshire Rape Crisis and NW Counselling Hub provide a counselling services to anyone who lives or works in Lincolnshire, who has been affected by any form of sexual violence in their lives - regardless of whether they have chosen to report the crime to the police or not.
Sexual and Domestic Violence Liaison Officer - University of Lincoln
This role, which has received funding from the PCC, delivers specialist, bespoke support to survivors of sexual violence and/or domestic violence who are students at the University of Lincoln. The role provides long term and emergency response. They liaise with statutory services such as the Police and victim services such as Victim Lincs, SARC, ISVAs, IDVAs and specialist counselling services. Victims receive timely, professional and tailored support and provided with options regarding the criminal justice system, and access to health services.
Fast Track Counselling for Victims of Sexual Violence
Umbrella Counselling are funded by the PCC to provide a specialist counselling service to victims and survivors of sexual violence aged 18 or over who have attended the SARC.
Victim Lincs Sexual Violence Co-ordinator
The sexual violence co-ordinator role sits within the Victim Lincs team, providing an enhanced service to victims of sexual violence and abuse.
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.
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.
Victim Lincs domestic abuse referrals
Following consultation with Lincolnshire County Council who commission domestic abuse services, the PCC increased the remit of Victim Lincs to include police referrals for victims of domestic abuse in March 2023.
Launch of new domestic abuse support service
With support from the OPCC and partners, Lincolnshire County Council have commissioned a new support service: Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Support Service (LDASS).
LDASS has three core principle aims:
- Prevention - aiming to intervene before harm occurs or preventing further harm.
- Protection - providing support to victims if harm has occurred to reduce the impact and increase their safety.
- Recovery - to be future-focused, increase resilience, confidence, and skills to rebuild victims’ lives.
Number of victims and survivors who have been referred to a support service:
Victim Lincs - 12991
Outreach support - 865
Sexual Violence services - 2045
Restorative Justice - 202
(Lincolnshire County Council commission domestic abuse services and hold referral data.)
82% of victims who accessed support reported they were better able to cope and recover.
Feedback for services:
I really had no idea what to expect from you as an ISVA, but our sessions give me hope for the future, I`m so glad I asked to be referred to the service” - ISVA
“Thank you so much for your support, I feel so much better now” - CHISVA
“I really don`t know how you do your job, you`ve been absolutely brilliant, I couldn`t have carried on without you" - ISVA
Fast Track Counselling for Victims of Sexual Violence
In recognition of the need for immediate trauma counselling for victims of sexual violence, the PCC secured £65k of non-recurrent funding to put in place a high-quality specialist counselling service. This service is delivered by Umbrella Counselling to meet specific needs of victims and survivors of sexual violence who are 18 or over who have attended the Sexual Assault Referral Centre. 139 victims received trauma counselling during 2022-23.
Victim Lincs - Sexual Violence Co-ordinator
A grant of £78,000 was secured from National Health Service England to introduce a dedicated Sexual Violence Co-ordinator within Victim Lincs. The role provides an enhanced service to victims of sexual violence and abuse by completing detailed needs assessments, providing information and advice and making referrals to specialist support services. Between September 2022 and March 2023, 834 victims of sexual violence of all ages were referred to the Sexual Violence Co-ordinator in Victim Lincs.
Following consultation with victims, the public, partner agencies and Lincolnshire Police, the Victim Outreach support contract was awarded to Victim Support from April 2023.
Additional funding to support victims of sexual violence
In 2022 the PCC secured an additional £310k for additional ISVAs, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and specialist therapeutic support services to victims of sexual violence including dedicated support to men and boys.
To date, there have been an additional:
- 3 ISVAs
- 2 CHISVAs
- 4.5 IDVAs
In 2022, the PCC provided a multiyear funding commitment until 2024/25 to:
- Umbrella Counselling
- Rape Crisis
- NW Counselling Hub
- University of Lincoln for a dedicated Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Liaison Officer
- The Domestic Abuse Support Service commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council
Raising awareness of violence against women and girls
The PCC funded Lincoln University to develop several videos to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. The videos highlighted what behaviours constitute harassment, how to report and where to get support. These videos were shared via PCC social media channels as well as with partners.
Working in partnership, learning and sharing
Local Criminal Justice Board
The Deputy PCC co-chairs the Local Criminal Justice Board which brings together criminal justice partners to identify priorities, address cross cutting issues and deliver agreed objectives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the local criminal justice system, including the experiences of victims and witnesses.
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 other services within Lincolnshire, support the sharing of best practice and the identification of any gaps in services.
Independent panel to review the Lincolnshire Police approach to violence against women and girls
The PCC created and launched an independent panel to study the actions being taken by the force and reports on its findings. Members of the panel, chaired by Lincolnshire YMCA's chief executive, were tasked with bringing forward ideas and recommendations designed to make positive change and improve confidence in policing. The initial report of the panel will be published in 2023.
Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Pathway
The OPCC is a member of a multiagency CSA steering group, whose objectives are to:
- To promote effective working relationships between all partners, professional groups, and voluntary organisations to safeguard children from sexual abuse.
- To work with the Centre of Expertise on CSA to develop and embed the CSA Pathway.
- To develop and agree a Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) CSA Strategy and promote its adoption across the partnership.
- To 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.
- To identify opportunities for further commissioning to combat child sexual abuse.
Resources for professionals who are communicating with children who have been sexually abused and with families affected by CSA have been produced and launched at a multiagency event in November 2022.
'You're Right, That's Wrong' campaign
The ‘You’re Right, That’s Wrong’ campaign calls on men to act when they see or hear public place harassment towards women or misogynistic attitudes.
The PCC and Lincolnshire Police, have joined forces in their backing of the campaign which was originally launched in Leicestershire last year.
Victims Quality Mark
The Victims Choice Quality Mark is an independent assessment of the quality of the service provided to victims and witnesses. It is designed to provide confidence to those who may need to access the service in the future and to help commissioners determine if their resources are being targeted and spent effectively.
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”. This Quality Mark is up for renewal in January 2024.
New Victim Lincs website
A new Victim Lincs website is currently in development, with a focus on accessibility such as language translation.
The website will feature a directory of support services, a guidance to victims' rights under the Victims Code and information about what to expect from a police investigation and going to court
Enhanced service for hate crime
From 1 April 2023, Victim Support has been commissioned by the PCC to provide an enhanced hate crime support service within Lincolnshire, as part of their outreach service.
This service includes:
- Outreach support. Direct practical and emotional support to victims.
- Free 24 hour Support Line. This includes phone line, live online chat, text relay, BSL, language. interpretation, email support and support request via a secure online form.
- 'My Support Space'. An online resource containing interactive guides to help victims manage the impact that crime has had on them.
Working with NHS Commissioners to plan the commissioning of SARC/PSARC
The current contracts for the adult and paediatric SARC services are due to end 31st March 2025. The PCC currently co-commissions both services with NHS England.
The OPCC are working closely with commissioners from NHS England to ensure the future services are in place to meet the needs of residents in Lincolnshire. A long term procurement plan is in place and a Health Needs Assessment is underway to inform the future requirements of both services.