CRIMEFIGHTERS in Dorset have scooped more than £300,000 to help victims.

The Dorset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been successful in its Competed Fund bids for £300,000 of Government funding.

Projects put forward for funding include a pilot scheme to help male victims of domestic abuse, new mental health worker posts and a programme to support child sex offence victims.

This Ministry of Justice grant award is part of a £12 million pot raised through offenders paying a ‘victim surcharge’ that PCCs have been able to bid against with the emphasis on innovative technologies and specialist services, to support victims of crime across the country.

The funding was announced today by Victims’ Minister Damian Green.

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said: “I am delighted. This is fantastic news for Dorset. These grants strengthen and widen our work with victims.

"This will see a real improvement in victim care and help us to fill in the gaps where provision is lacking.

"For example, we will now be able to offer courses to male victims of domestic abuse and specialist counselling to child victims of domestic abuse. That is really exciting and will make a positive difference to many people’s lives.”

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson added: “I am extremely pleased Dorset has been successful in its bid. Supporting victims is at the heart of what we do and the projects funded by this grant will make even more of a difference.”

Some examples of the projects the PCC will now commission in Dorset within the next financial year 2014/15 are:

  • £100,000 for 2 Mental Health Outreach Workers and a Mental Health Coordinator
  • £85,000 for a programme to support child victims of serious sexual offences
  • £30,000 for Freedom Courses to support victims of domestic abuse – this will include a pilot scheme offering freedom courses or pattern changing courses to male Domestic Abuse victims
  • £30,000 for special counselling for child witnesses of Domestic Abuse – this will include 1-1 creative therapeutic sessions for children
  • £66,000 for specialist LGBT hate crime case workers in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire. (the Dorset contribution will be £19,000 in financial year 2014/15)

Money to fund the schemes comes from additional receipts from offenders, raised through the Victim Surcharge and increased financial penalties such as Penalty Notices for Disorder.

This funding is in addition to a range of measures brought in by the Government to provide unprecedented support for victims, including the new and improved Victims’ Code and pre-trial cross-examination for young and vulnerable witnesses.