On The Beat - July 2012

First published in On The Beat

IN this month’s column I’d like to talk about what happens should you become a victim of crime.

Wyre Forest is still a relatively low crime area but if you do unfortunately become a victim of crime I understand the decision to contact the police can be stressful.

You might be worried or concerned about its implications – but you don’t need to be.

It is important that crimes are reported to the police so we can investigate and bring offenders to justice. Always call 999 if it’s an emergency but for non-emergency calls please remember our new 101 number.

As a victim of crime the police will update you about your case regularly, particularly if someone is arrested, bailed or cautioned in connection with your case.

People react to crime in many ways. Although most victims do not suffer long-term harm, both adults and children can be seriously affected. People who have suffered a crime may need practical information and advice, or simply someone to talk to.

Victim Support is a national charity for victims and witnesses of crime.

It gives free and confidential help to victims, their family, friends and anyone else affected.

It offers someone to talk to in confidence, information on police and court procedures, liaison with other organisations on behalf of victims, and help with Criminal Injuries Compensation.

It can also arrange for volunteers to accompany people to a police station and to court. It is not a government agency or part of the police.

West Mercia Police works in partnership with Victim Support and provides it with the details of victims of crime so that it can contact them on behalf of the Chief Constable and explain the support and other services which can be provided.

You can find out more about Victim Support by visiting its website at www.victimsupport.org or by calling 0845 30 30 900.

INSPECTOR PAUL CROWLEY, KIDDERMINSTER POLICE

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