Zoe Metcalfe
Zoe Metcalfe - Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is to have a more modern Victims’ Centre for victims of rape or sexual abuse

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North Yorkshire is to have a more modern Victims’ Centre.

The centre will provide crisis support and forensic medical examinations to any victims of rape or sexual abuse, of any age, as well as onward referrals to healthcare, social care and support through the criminal justice process in an attempt to support them through the trauma they have suffered and heal for the future.

Currently, services are delivered at a building from a residential area near to York, which is no longer fit for purpose – that building opened in 2013.

Due to the demand for more support for victims at a location that is accessible to all, it will be moved to a location that has been identified near to York city centre. Once the new centre is ready, this existing site will be sold, with the money being used to support the improved facility.

Overall, it represents a £1 million is to be investment. Philip Allot made the decision for the spend on the existing facility and the current Commissioner, Zoë Metcalfe has decided to adopt the plan he put forward.

It will house the existing services provided by North Yorkshire’s sexual assault referral centre for adults, North Yorkshire’s child sexual assault assessment services and video-recorded interview facilities for vulnerable victims and witnesses of any offence.

North Yorkshire Police will use the state-of-the-art video interview suite to provide a safe and secure space where victims can feel as at ease as possible, reducing the amount of time they need to repeat the account of what happened to them with the stress and pain that can cause.

The facility aims to:

  • Increase likelihood of successful prosecution of sexual offences; and
  • Increase public confidence in the justice process; and in turn
  • Promote the possibility of more disclosures by victims, of rape and sexual assault

Zoë Metcalfe, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:

Being a victim of crime is never easy, but for those who suffer the worst offences that have the biggest impact on them and their families, we must do everything we can to give them the support they need to rebuild their lives.

This new Victims’ Centre will do that by bringing together services that can make a real difference in one accessible location. Whether it is crisis support and forensic medical examinations, or reducing the trauma of reliving the crimes by having modern video interview facilities, our aim is to reduce trauma and do all we can to help people recover.

A consultation published today (Thursday 9 December) asks for views on what should be included in a new Victims’ Law. They could include an explicit requirement for prosecutors to meet the victims of certain crimes before making a charging decision in order to understand the impact on them and their families.

Zoë Metcalfe said:

Too often victims of crime are treated as an afterthought in the criminal justice system so I am pleased the government are recognising this by launching this new consultation.

Victims deserve dignity and respect. I hope my plans for a Victims’ Centre for North Yorkshire and York coupled with plans for a new Victims’ Law bring us one step closer to their views no longer being ignored or neglected.

1 Comment

  1. A victim is a victim. Please forget about all the woekism.
    What we need as I discovered in 2015 is the Police need to take DA seriously. The CPS need to get their act together. When I saw them in York Magistrates Court they were pathetic. The District Judge knew more about the cases as he had read them overnight and the CPS had not.
    There were 30000 cases of DA in NY in 2015. Far worst than pro rata WY, Durham and Cleveland. Why is that?

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