A new helpline offering support services to victims of crime in Greater Manchester has been launched today (Monday 21 December 2020).
It follows an announcement made by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes last week after the publication of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)’s report 'Greater Manchester Police - Victim Service Assessment (VSA)'.
The Greater Manchester Crime Support Line will provide support to victims of crime who may have concerns about how their crime has been recorded by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) or would like support to help them cope and recover.
The service is independent of the police and is being delivered by charity organisation Victim Support on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
As well as offering support to victims of crime via existing services, the dedicated line will also offer advocacy to victims of crime who wish to report a crime if it has not been recorded in the past as it should have been, or raise any associated issues or concerns.
The support line, on freephone number 0808 196 8416, is designed for Greater Manchester-based victims of crime to contact if:
- You have previously reported a crime to GMP but were not referred to support services to help you cope and recover.
- You wish to make a formal complaint or raise any concerns or issues about how your crime report was dealt with.
- You want to report a crime if it has not been recorded in the past as it should have been.
Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire said: “The public must have confidence that if they report a crime to the police, it will be treated with the upmost seriousness, recorded appropriately, and they will be given the help and support they need.
“It is clear from HMICFRS’ latest inspection that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has let down victims, and while some improvements have been made following previous concerns raised by the Inspectorate, these have not been quick enough or gone far enough.
“Along with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, I have accepted the Inspectorate’s report in full and initiated a series of urgent actions, including the launch of a new Crime Support Line today, which we hope will restore public confidence and ensure that no victim of crime is left without the support they need.
“My plea to anyone who feels that their crime has not been dealt with as it should have been, or if you feel you weren't offered support to help you cope and recover, please contact the Greater Manchester Crime Support Line on 0808 196 8416.”
Jo Parks, Victim Support’s Services Director for North and North Midlands, said: “We encourage any victim of crime who feels they have been let down by Greater Manchester Police to contact our support line. We are independent of the police and our specialist staff can help you to challenge a police decision, make a complaint, get an update on your case or report a crime.
“Many victims will understandably feel let down by the recent news and some may feel re-traumatised or re-triggered. We want victims to know that support is available. Regardless of how you have been impacted, our support line is here to help you, and can be accessed anonymously if you choose.”
If you want to report a crime that has taken place within the last month, you should contact Greater Manchester Police directly by calling 101 or report online at gmp.police.uk. If you, or someone else is in immediate danger always dial 999.
You can also contact GMP directly if you want to make a complaint, request an update on an existing crime, or submit a new crime report. Visit gmp.police.uk
Chief Superintendent Paul Clements said: "We welcome the establishment of this new line by GMCA and Victim Support, which we believe is a positive step to help us improve the areas that have been highlighted as an issue for GMP.
"Any victim of crime should feel supported and assured by the response they receive, especially in situations where it has taken a lot of courage and strength to report those crimes.
"This new support line will provide feedback so that we can continue with our plan to ensure all victims of crime receive the support, guidance and outcome they deserve."
Over the Christmas period, the support line will be open:
Monday 21 December: 9am-7pm
Tuesday 22 December: 9am-7pm
Wednesday 23 December: 9am-7pm
Christmas Eve: 9am-2pm
Christmas Day: CLOSED
Boxing Day: CLOSED
Monday 28 December: CLOSED
Tuesday 29 December: 9am-5pm
Wednesday 30 December: 9am-5pm
New Year’s Eve: 9am-2pm
New Year’s Day: CLOSED
Normal opening hours (9am-7pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday) resume Monday 4 January.
There is a voicemail facility to take out of hours messages.
If you need urgent support outside of these hours, please call Victim Support’s national Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111 – this is open 24/7 including on Christmas Day. Alternatively, you can use Live Chat online at victimsupport.org.uk
You can also find help, advice and local support services at gmvictims.org.uk
Article Published: 21/12/2020 13:29 PM