Victim and Witness Care-Co-ordinator
Victim and Witness Care Coordinator – Victim and Witness Hub
Victim and Witness Care Coordinators provide support to victims and witnesses of crime and anti-social behaviour. Care is provided from the initial incident or report to the police right through to the conclusion of criminal justice proceedings. Victim and Witness Care Coordinators advocate on behalf of victims and witnesses, liaising with police officers, the Crown Prosecution Service, and other third-party agencies. Alongside making sure the victim and witness’ needs are met, they also provide support throughout the court process.
We talk to Adam Beeton who works as a Victim and Witness Care Coordinator at the Victim and Witness Hub.
How long have you been in the role?
I have worked in the role for just over six years. In that time, I have supported victims and witnesses in many serious cases. In 2022, I received an Assistant Chief Constable’s Commendation for my role as Lead Witness Care Officer in the Rikki Neave murder trial which involved the management of 150 witnesses, many of whom were required at the Old Bailey in London.
What was your (professional/voluntary) background before taking on this job?
I spent eight years working in both Case Preparation and Witness Care, starting my career at Norfolk Constabulary’s Criminal Justice Services department, based in Norwich. I then moved to Cambridgeshire Constabulary near Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough. My academic background incorporates medical sciences and humanities including anthropology.
What sort of support do you offer?
I offer telephone-based support and coordination which includes assessing cases, completing needs assessments and impact assessments, and making a bespoke plan for each victim. Support may take the form of weekly telephone calls to work through specific issues, answer questions about the criminal justice system and help clients understand how trauma is affecting them and how to work through it. It may also involve referring clients to relevant agencies including Embrace Child Victims of Crime or the National Centre for Domestic Violence.
I am trained in trauma informed practice and maintain an active interest in new and innovative trauma management strategies.
Can you think of a victim/witness that you recently supported and describe what you think helped them recover/report/seek support?
The most poignant cases are those where I use my knowledge and skills to help to put someone on a better trajectory in their life including those who present in a low mood, are very distressed, and are often contemplating suicide. In a recent case, I called a victim/witness to discuss a court case but quickly realised he needed emotional support. He was in an incredibly distressed state, and I was able to use all my skills to stabilise his emotions. Once he was stable, he was able to move from the fight or flight reflex into more rational thinking and I could then provide support and reassurance. I believe that the words we speak can help to put a person onto a more positive path in their life.