We had an incredible turnout and I was heartened to see how many people were happy to take time out of their busy working lives to attend. I know how under pressure both members of the force and our providers are, and I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who took part.
This financial year I will spend more than £9m funding more than 50 support services across the peninsula and I am pleased to have given some of them the opportunity to engage with key individuals who can help to spread the word about what they do.
In 2021-22, 70,709 people reported a crime to Devon and Cornwall Police, and we know there are likely to be many more who have not contacted the police, and so we must not underestimate just how important these services are to helping people recover from what can often be a traumatic and overwhelming experience.
Although I was regrettably unable to attend the showcase due to personal circumstances, I feel extremely proud to know so many incredible organisations were at Middlemoor to demonstrate the breadth of service I commission to support victims, prevent reoffending and deliver restorative justice.
We featured a wide range of providers doing amazing work to help survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse, of all ages and genders, alongside those who help to prevent those offences from being committed in the first place. Other services on display support families and young people, those experiencing hate crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB), and people suffering from addiction.
It was great to see our new Chief Constable Will Kerr welcome our providers to the event, and thank them for the vital role they play in helping to improve the lives of people in our communities.
I am also pleased that police officers found the time to come along and chat to providers, to find out about the services they refer members of the public to, and I hope they found it enlightening and helpful to their work keeping the residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly safe.
The feedback from providers was overwhelmingly positive, with many stating how valuable it was to be able to see what other support is on offer and in many cases providing new opportunities to work together and share knowledge among themselves.
Our strategic delivery partner Victim Support was also present at the showcase, and shared with attendees some recent achievements which will go a long way to improving the care available for those who have been affected by crime, such as help for victims of ASB and road collisions – two of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.
They also spoke about the introduction of independent advocates who will help to support victims for the entirety of their journey to recovery.
I am committed to making sure every single person affected by crime can get access to specialist support, regardless of whether they have reported to police, and I would like to thank Victim Support for the amazing job they do ensuring every person who makes contact gets on the right path to support.
They are available 24/7 on their Supportline (08 08 16 89 111) and live chat (victimsupport.org.uk) and can also be contacted at our victim hub website victimcare-dc.org which also provides a host of information to help people seeking support.
A final thank you must go to Devon and Cornwall Police’s Victim Care Unit, which helps the police give the best care to people who report a crime to the police.
Please remember that however you decide to get help, you will be believed and I will continue to strive to ensure the best possible care is in place to help you cope and recover.