A NEW victim service dedicated to supporting those affected by crime is set to be launched.

As of 8am on Monday (April 1), the Victim Advice Line (VAL) will offer a free and confidential service and receive a bespoke care package.

Those that need someone to talk to also need not have reported the crime to the police.

This new service is part of a commitment by John Campion, West Mercia police and crime commissioner, to ensuring victims of crime receive an improved and more consistent service, and is also a model that is being seen as best practice and a flagship across the country in delivering support to victims, having already been adopted by other PCCs and police forces.

He said: “This new service also allows better multi-agency working, such as with the police and other support services, which will ensure those affected by crime will have someone with them every step of their journey.”

West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable, Martin Evans, said: “We are truly committed to providing the best possible service for victims and survivors. We strive to always put victims at the heart of everything we do and the support that the Victim Advice Line will provide alongside us will be invaluable.

“Every member of our force is dedicated to ensuring we are always victim focussed and the VAL is a perfect reflection of our values and commitment.

“Eighty per cent of victims of crime served by West Mercia Police are satisfied with the service we provide them. We are proud to deliver a good service to every victim of crime but are committed to becoming ever better, remaining focussed on individuals and their needs to help them cope and recover from the experience of the crime. We welcome the VAL team in working with us to achieve this.”

– The free and confidential phone line (0800 952 3000) is open 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 5pm on Saturdays.

– A new website (www.victimadviceline.org.uk) will go live on Monday.

– An online chat function, available on the website, gives those not wanting to use the phone an opportunity to talk to someone online.

– If someone doesn’t have time to chat on the phone or online, there is also an option to email or use the contact form on the website.