Victim and Witness Hub
The Victim and Witness Hub is a free confidential service which provides emotional and practical support to victims or witnesses to a crime in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, to help them cope and recover from the impact of crime.
It offers support to victims from the time of the offence, through any subsequent police investigation or court proceedings and beyond, according to the needs of the individual.
- What we do
The Victim and Witness Hub supports all victims of crime, but prioritises those who are entitled to support under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
- Victims of serious offences
- Persistently targeted victims
- Intimidated victims
- Vulnerable victims
The Hub also accepts self-referrals. Self-referrals are available to anyone who has been a victim of crime regardless of whether the crime has been reported or when it occurred.
- Who we are
The Victim and Witness Hub is currently based in Peterborough and is made up of:
- A Head of Department
- Four Victim and Witness Care Delivery Managers
- Eighteen Victim and Witness Care Officers (a number of whom act as champions for specific types of crime, such as hate crime)
- Three Business Support Officers
- Team of community-based volunteers
- A specialist Victim and Witness Care Coordinator for Restorative Justice
- A specialist Victim and Witness Care Coordinator for migrant victims of exploitation
The Victim & Witness Hub is also supported by a number of commissioned services to assist in providing the best support for victims and witnesses. The Hub has access to victim pathfinders including, a Community Psychiatric Nurse, and a specialist Victim and Witness Care Coordinator which provides quick access to specialist support for the most vulnerable victims.
- Who we help
Anyone living in Cambridgeshire who has been affected by a crime is eligible to access the Victim and Witness Hub services. This includes:
- Bereaved relatives
- Parents or guardians of victims under 18
- Staff who are employed by a business that has been a victim of crime
People do not have to have reported a crime to the police to access this support.
Victims of crime who have made a report will be assessed at the time of reporting the crime. If needs are identified at this time, someone from the Victim and Witness Hub will make contact directly to assess the needs in greater detail to ensure victims are offered the best support available.
The Victim and Witness Hub appreciates that the effects of crime aren’t always apparent at the time and some people experience the effects later on. If someone feel's they need support long after a crime is committed, Victim and Witness Hub co-ordinators can support victims regardless of when a crime was committed.
- Going to court?
Where a case is brought to court the Victim and Witness Hub will support victims and witnesses through the process, keeping them updated with the progress of the case and supporting them practically and emotionally if they are required to attend court and give evidence. The Coordinator will act as a single point of contact throughout.
The Victim and Witness Hub can offer:
- Practical advice and guidance from Victim and Witness Care Co-ordinators via the telephone
- Access to specially trained Victim and Witness Hub Community Volunteers, both face-to-face and on the telephone
- Support to access existing services provided by partners, voluntary and community organisations including The Bobby Scheme and mental health care providers
- Referral to additional relevant external organisations
- Referral to the Court-based Witness Service who provide free and independent support for victims and witnesses attending court. They can arrange pre-trial visits to the court and their volunteer staff at the court building provide information, support and a quiet place in which to wait during the trial itself.