Posted on 21st May 2019

A service offering free and confidential support to victims of crime in Cheshire has hit the milestone of supporting more than 50,000 victims over a 12 month period.

Cheshire CARES (Cope and Recovery Enhanced Service) offers tailored one-to-one support to help victims of all crimes to cope and recover from their ordeal.

The 50,000 victims CARES supported between April 2018 and March 2019 included more than 20,000 victims of serious crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual assault or hate crime.

It is Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane’s dedicated service for victims support and was one of the first in-house victims’ support services in U.K. policing.

The service is designed to give victims and witnesses support at every stage of their journey, whether they have reported the crime to the police or not.

Victim care officers from Cheshire CARES support each victim of crime through a detailed needs assessment and then agree a recovery plan, calling on specialist services as required.

As a part of assessing victims’ needs, the team will identify potential support pathways and will discuss these with the individual to ensure that any referral can go ahead.

The CARES team work closely with local providers and voluntary and community sector organisations that will support victims through their recovery.

Information around available support or services will also be provided including restorative justice and how it could help people come to terms with what has happened to them.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Supporting victims is a key part of my role and is at the heart of everything I do. Cheshire CARES work tirelessly to ensure every victim of crime in Cheshire has access to the right support services to recover from their ordeal.

“Being a victim of crime can have a significant and long-lasting impact on health and wellbeing and the feelings of safety. Cheshire CARES work closely with victims to ensure they don’t have to cope alone and that victims are offered support from relevant agencies.

“I hope that more people will accept support from CARES over the next 12 months so we can help more victims of crime in Cheshire carry on with their lives.”

Julie Blaylock, manager of Cheshire CARES, added: “Cheshire CARES offers support to all victims of crime no matter how they’ve been affected by the crime or if they have reported it to the police.

“We support victims who have a wide variety of needs and ensure they are able to live comfortably again following their ordeal.

“We recently supported a lady who was subjected to ongoing emotional and verbal abuse from her husband. But with regular support from the team she finally found the courage to move out of their home.

“She says she now finally feels confident enough to live alone and has continually praised our support and stated that knowing someone is always there to talk to has had a huge impact on her and her life.”