We all have good weeks and bad weeks; that’s life. Amidst the COVID19 gloom, I’m happy to report that it’s been a good week in Leicestershire insofar as providing support for some of the most vulnerable in our community – a top priority of mine.
At the start of the week, I received confirmation that my Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has secured government funding totalling £880k. This is a ringing endorsement of the work of the VRN since 2019.
I passionately believe in a public health approach to tackling knife crime and street violence. The VRN works with those at risk of being drawn into violent crime, notably vulnerable young people. The network explores the underlying reasons that drive violent crime and develops targeted interventions. It’s a strategy that has worked really well in Scotland. The news of a further year’s funding will ultimately pay dividends here in Leicestershire.
On Wednesday, I learned that my support service, ‘Victim First’, which helps victims and witnesses of all types of crime, has assisted more than 33,000 people over the last 30 months.
The feedback from those helped has been truly uplifting. I was pleased to extend the contract to the providers, Catch-22, for a further two years. Having redesigned the service two years ago, the results speak for themselves – it received a Victims Choice Quality Mark last year. We have made a big difference in the way victims and witnesses are supported - at the right time and in the right way.
We finished the week on a real high. Today, I announced additional funding for domestic abuse and sexual violence support services. This area of work is so important. Violence and abuse of this kind leave emotional scars that can last for decades, and I want to ensure that the very best support services are available. Details of how to apply are available on the OPCC website.
Personal circumstances, disability, adverse childhood experiences and sometimes plain bad luck can lead to people being drawn into or becoming victims of, crime. Effective crime prevention is hampered when vulnerable people are left without help and support.
These three good news items coupled with Leicester City’s progression to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup brightened up my week considerably.
12 February 2021
Posted on Friday 12th February 2021