Victim support bid prompts MP’s fears

(l-r) Julie Shaw, Shirley Marshall, MP Rosie Winterton and Christine Empson, stand next to the Victim Support banner, as Rosie has visited them. Picture: Andrew Roe
(l-r) Julie Shaw, Shirley Marshall, MP Rosie Winterton and Christine Empson, stand next to the Victim Support banner, as Rosie has visited them. Picture: Andrew Roe

A DONCASTER MP fears victims of crime could receive less help if Government plans to change the way charities are funded go ahead.

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on proposals to make police and crime commissioners — due to be elected for the first time in November — responsible for commissioning victim and witness services.

It is feared this could divert money away from frontline services.

Rosie Winterton MP visited Victim Support, in College Road, Doncaster, and met with staff and volunteers to discuss concerns.

Victim Support has provided support for more than 3,000 victims of crimes, including burglary, assaults, sex offences and domestic violence, in Doncaster in the past year.

The Doncaster Central MP said: “I’d like to pay tribute to the work done by Victim Support and similar organisations.

“I share Victim Support’s concerns that the suggested changes could mean a worse service. It’s vital that the victim’s voice is not lost.

“I’ll be listening to the concerns and will work to make sure we keep the best service possible in Doncaster.”

Despite the concerns the charity supports the Government’s stance that offenders should do more to compensate victims and society for their crimes.

It acknowledges that compensation for victims needs to change – especially in tough economic times.

Victim Support, which has been running for almost 40 years, also welcomed moves to extend the use of victim personal statements and ensure that restorative justice - where victims of crime meet offenders face to face as part of their punishment - is more available and works for victims.