Victims of anti-social behaviour receive extra support
Victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Hackney have been receiving expert support from a specially funded Victim Support worker.
Hackney Council has been funding the dedicated officer since September 2013, following a successful bid to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. So far she has helped around 30 Hackney residents whose lives have been blighted by ASB.
Charity Victim Support usually works with victims of crime, who are referred by the police or other agencies in order to receive emotional support and advocacy services during court proceedings. The scheme in Hackney means that Council and Hackney Homes staff are able to refer people - and residents are also able to self-refer - without a crime being recorded, meaning they can get help at an earlier stage.
Victims can often feel as though they are forgotten about. Working with Victim Support in this way ensures that victims are supported and their needs are also considered. It gives them someone to talk to, on a confidential basis. The team tell us that even if the victims turn down the offer of support, they are grateful of the offer; it makes them feel that someone cares.
When a referral has been made, the resident receives a telephone call from the Victim Support worker, explaining the types of support available.
Support ranges from emotional to practical and advocacy work. Hackney's Victim Support officer attends weekly meetings with the Council's ASB team, which allows the organisations to work together to improve situations.
One resident, who has been subjected to ASB for five years, said that she valued having someone, other than a friend or family member, to talk to about her experiences. "It can be confusing because there can be many different organisations and agencies involved, so it's good having someone I can go to with questions and queries. I feel fully supported; I wish I'd approached Victim Support sooner."
For more information visit: www.victimsupport.org.uk or Hackney Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour team: www.hackney.gov.uk/safer-communities-crime-community-safety or 020 8356 3310.