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Baroness to officially launch new services for crime victims in West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson

Children who see or experience crime in West Yorkshire are being supported by a charity for the first time, as new services for victims are introduced.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Newlove, will visit Wakefield on Thursday to officially launch the services, alongside West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

It comes three months after Mr Burns-Williamson awarded £3.6m to charity Victim Support so it could continue to help victims and witnesses in the county.

The three-year contract, which began in March, means children aged 18 and under can get support from the charity for the first time. Other new services include a web chat, giving people another way of accessing support and advice.

Mr Burns-Williamson also awarded a three-year contract, worth £900k, to community interest company Restorative Solutions, for restorative justice services, supporting victims to engage directly with offenders where appropriate to try and achieve closure and prevent reoffending.

He said: “Many people affected by crime often feel unable to get the help they need, whether or not they wish to report it to the police, so these new services and contracts will ensure that wider support and ensure more options are available.”

Baroness Newlove and Mr Burns-Williamson will visit Wakefield's Victims Hub, run by Victim Support, to meet staff before attending an official services launch event at Wakefield Town Hall.

In her role as Victims' Commissioner, which she was appointed to in 2013, Baroness Newlove promotes the interests of victims and witnesses and encourages good practice in how they are treated.