James Sunderland highlights the work of Thames Valley PCC’s Victims First support service but calls for victim support funding policy to be extended to include victims of antisocial behaviour.
5. What steps his Department is taking to support victims of crime. (900190)
We are increasing victim support funding to £185 million by 2024—almost double the amount in the 2020-21 core budgets, and more than quadruple the victims funding in the last year of the last Labour Government.
The Thames Valley police and crime commissioner, Matthew Barber, provides excellent support to victims of crime through his office’s Victims First support service. One challenge that he faces is that the Ministry of Justice does not allow victims funding to be used to support victims of antisocial behaviour. That is a real concern for my constituents in Bracknell. Might the Secretary of State be willing to review the policy?
I pay tribute to the work of Commissioner Matthew Barber. In 2022-23, we are providing PCCs with £69 million of core funding to commission victim support services. How they allocate the funding is at their discretion, based on their assessment of local need, but it can include services to support victims of ASB that reaches the threshold of a criminal offence. As my hon. Friend will know, we are consulting on new powers for courts to consider community impact assessments in trials so that the blight and oppression that antisocial behaviour causes in whole communities can be properly factored in.