support - Remedi staff and PCC David keane (1)

Two support services for crime victims have been boosted by extra funding from Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Those to benefit include a youth victim support service and the Rape and Sexual Assault Support Centre.

It comes as PCC David Keane said officer numbers in Cheshire will reach their highest level in more than 10 years after the police budget was approved by the county’s Police and Crime Panel.

The youth victim support service “Got Your Back”, piloted in Halton, is set to be made available to all under 18s in Cheshire.

It supports young victims of crime to recover from their ordeal whether they’ve reported the crime to the police or not.

It also provides support for young people who are experiencing conflict such as bullying or family troubles.

Since it was launched in 2019, it has supported more than 1,000 young people via one-to-one support sessions.

Also to benefit is the RASASC which supports of survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

It will extend its service to help survivors of the crimes on both evenings and weekends.

The charity supports people who have been affected by rape or sexual violence by providing free community-based support to help them recover from their ordeal.

It offers one-to-one counselling services and support through the criminal justice process for anyone affected by sexual violence who lives in Cheshire, supporting all genders and both ongoing and historic cases.

Mr Keane said: “Got Your Back has provided vital support to many young people in Halton so I’m pleased to be extending this service so it can soon benefit even more young people across the whole of Cheshire.

“Rape and sexual assault are particularly distressing crimes and the effects can be long-lasting and require specialised support to help survivors to be able to cope and to work through to recovery.

“Sadly, the current Coronavirus restrictions mean that some survivors of sexual abuse and violence are facing the additional trauma of spending more at home with their abuser with little rest-bite from the abuse.

“The backlog in the courts is also compounding the situation for those whose cases are going through the judicial process.

“RASASC do a fantastic job in supporting many people in need throughout Cheshire and because of lockdown, the service needs to be more accessible than ever so I’m pleased to provide funding so it’s available seven days a week and during evenings too.”

Meanwhile, the police budget proposals for 2021-22 will see an additional 88 police officers over the next year.

This will take the total number of officers in Cheshire to 2,224 – the highest level since 2010.

The budget will also see increased investment in areas that Cheshire residents said were a priority for them in the consultation.

The policing precept – the element of council tax that pays for policing – will rise by £1.25 per month for the average Band D property (over 12 months) to help fund this year’s budget.

PCC David keane with police officers
PCC David Keane with police officers

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