How we did in 2021/22

About us Voice for victims and witness ltd is commissioned and funded by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to provide free, confidential, and independent advice, guidance, and support to those who have been; • victim of crime, • witness to crime going through the court process, • victim of repeated anti-social behaviour or victim, • witness or family member affected by life changing fire incidents or road traffic collisions. Voice has access to a wide network of local and national services and provides a single point of contact for the residents of Northamptonshire to help guide them to appropriate support that best meets their individual needs. Crime and trauma can affect people in a number of different ways and whilst many find the effects of crime are short term, for some the impact can be felt for longer. Changes in how people feel following being a victim of crime, serious fire or road traffic incident are common and could be as a result of the traumatic experience they have been through. Many are surprised at the strong emotions that can be experienced including anger, upset or anxiety and how these emotions may also be displayed in physical symptoms.

Whether it be; • a chat about how someone is feeling, • providing crime prevention advice, • guiding people through the criminal justice system, • supporting people living in abusive situations, • helping to navigate services, • providing dedicated, regular one to one emotional support sessions with our team of highly skilled staff and volunteers • or referring to one of our specialist service providers for trauma therapy or counselling, Voice is here to help victims to cope, recover and thrive.

To compliment the support and guidance our team at Voice offer, we also provide a wide range of information on our comprehensive website and the ability to access self-help coping tools by downloading our free support app. Voice Ltd is also commissioned by partnership funding arrangement to deliver the Northamptonshire counties Independent Domestic Violence Advisory (IDVA) service, The Sunflower Centre, providing crisis response and risk management to the highest risk victim/survivors of Domestic abuse, Honour based abuse, Forced Marriage and stalking and ensuring a county wide, partnership response via the counties Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference. (MARAC) Voice continues to work with colleagues across the county to contribute to strategic planning and initiatives, to supporting partnership working, to evolve and develop with new legislative changes, to bring new opportunities and to lead and implement business change to provide quality support to victims of crime, abuse, fire, and road traffic collisions. This annual summary has been prepared to provide an overview of our years’ work, performance, and impact. “The emotional support exceeded my expectations, I was very low, lonely, and downtrodden. After speaking with you, you gave me my confidence to regain my own opinion.” “You listened and you respected me - I just can’t thank you enough.” “It was all absolutely fantastic. Just knowing we had appointments scheduled so I knew I could talk to someone independently about the way I was feeling was brilliant.”

Our commissioner It is my role to commission the services that support victims and witnesses of crime and that is a responsibility I take very seriously. For some people, being a victim of crime can be devastating and it is only right that they should be able to ask for, and receive, justice. Alongside that, victims and witnesses should have effective support to help them through the system and then go on their lives. As the person responsible for victim services in Northamptonshire, I want victims of crime to be protected and supported as they engage with a criminal justice system that swiftly and efficiently responds to their needs. The Covid pandemic has had an enormous impact on the criminal justice system locally, creating a backlog of cases in both Magistrates and Crown Courts. The backlog is easing but victims and witnesses are still waiting longer to have their cases heard than they did before the pandemic. These delays cause pain, uncertainty, and anxiety for both victims and witnesses. The practical and emotional support offered by Voice can be a great support, not only improving the outcome for the person concerned but potentially ensuring that they stay engaged with the justice process. Voice supports victims and witnesses of all kinds of crime and anti-social behaviour. Voice is the front door that gives access to a range of specialist support including the Sunflower centre, which supports high-risk victims of domestic abuse; specialists to support victims of sexual abuse, and skilled staff to support those bereaved by road traffic incidents. Each element of this service is vitally important not just to the individual but also to the wider community as it is in all our interests that victims and witnesses stay engaged and see an offender dealt with, not left free to reoffend. So I am pleased that in this most difficult of years for the criminal justice system, to see clear evidence that Voice has not only supported a significant number of people, but also of how that support has made a difference. Victims will continue to be my focus, ensuring they get the service they deserve from the police and the criminal justice system. The support provided to victims and witnesses by Voice, a locally commissioned and delivered service, has a key part to play in delivering that aim. Stephen Mold Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Our Chief Executive Officer As Chief Executive for Voice for Victims and Witnesses Ltd I am delighted to present our Annual Report for 2021-22. I am always humbled by the outstanding work that our employees do on a daily basis to ensure victims and witnesses are supported through their personal journeys so they can cope, recover and thrive. The feedback we receive from clients demonstrates how our support can be life changing for victims. Within this report you will be able to read some of this feedback which is really moving and demonstrates the positive impact that our professional service has had. Throughout this Covid Pandemic our staff have worked hard to ensure victims and witnesses are supported through their personal journeys. Our Introduction Team have contacted over 43,000 victim referrals by phone, letter, e-mail or SMS to ensure they were aware of Voice service’s and how we can support them. Our Witness Care Team have supported on average 1899 victim and witness cases through the court system each month. We provide them with information and support so they can provide their best evidence, and in so doing offenders are brought to justice for the crimes they have committed. Our Sunflower and Voice teams received 12,427 domestic abuse referrals during this reporting year. This area of work has increased over the pandemic period and unfortunately is still increasing. We have worked hard to support these clients and have recruited additional staff to offer Crisis Support at weekends working with the Police to offer immediate support, advice and safety planning. We work closely with partners to ensure victims receive a personally tailored support offer drawing on the counselling skills and experience of others so individuals can fully recover from their trauma and move forward with their lives. It is so important that the outstanding work we do is continued to be recognised and valued so our services can continue to deliver for the victims and witnesses in Northamptonshire. Fiona Campbell Chief Executive

“The support I have received from my IDVA has been excellent. During the times I was in crisis you kept me calm, you kept me level-headed, you gave me direction & confidence you helped me focus on what I needed to do first. Without the Sunflower Centre I don’t know where I would be now. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done to help me. I feel so much safer and happier now.”

Our Year 2021/22 We received ... 46,958 referrals into our Voice and Sunflower Centre services combined * Valid referral volume combined 44,113 • 38030 for victims and witnesses • 4874 for children and young people • 329 for road harm • 6 for restorative northamptonshire • 3719 for the sunflower centre Voice and sunflower services accept self, third party and professional referrals with consent. In addition, Voice Ltd have joint data control with Northamptonshire police who share daily information about victims of crimes as recorded on their case management systems for the preceding 24 hrs. For the purposes of this summary and in line with our reporting requirements, information shared in this way is counted as a ‘referral’ into service.

Who referred to us? • Self referrals 1.7% • 3rd party referrals 6% • Not recorded 0.3% • Police referrals 92% Adult service Police: 93 % Self: 1% 3rd Party: 6% Not recorded: 0 % CYP Service Police: 97% Self: 0.5% 3rd party: 2.4% Not recorded: 0.1% Roadharm Service Police: 93% Self: 4% 3rd Party: 3% Not recorded: 0% Restorative Justice Service Police: 17% Self: 17% 3rd party: 66% Not recorded: 0% Sunflower Centre Police: 74% Self: 8.3% 3rd Party: 15.5% Not recorded: 2.2% * 3rd party includes, Action Fraud, housing services, health Services, local authority, educational establishments, and other support services. “Kindly and supporting team, that made me feel, I do matter.”

How were our referrals spread across the year? Quarterly split for the combined services Q1 25% Q2 25% Q3 25% Q4 25% Adult service Q1 25.7% Q2 25% Q3 24.6% Q4 24.7% CYP Service Q1 26.4% Q2 21.3% Q3 23% Q4 29.3% Roadharm Service Q1 19.5% Q2 25.5% Q3 28.9% Q4 26.4% Restorative Justice Service Q1 33.3% Q2 16.7% Q3 33.3% Q4 16.7% Sunflower Centre Q1 24% Q2 26% Q3 27% Q4 23%

What crimes were referred to us? 932 Hate crime referrals 7,037 referrals relating to criminal damage and public order offences 1,389 referrals for sexual offences 9,311 referrals for violent crimes 8,889 referrals for Theft/fraud and burglary crimes 4,650 referrals for harassment or stalking offences. The Sunflower Centre received 3,719 referrals for High-risk domestic related offending Voice services received a further 8,708 referrals for domestic related offending with 259 of these referred through the Children's and young people’s service. 23% Domestic related offending accounted for the largest volume of referrals into voice services (Excluding the Sunflower centre) Domestic related offending includes a wide variety of crime types identified as being committed by an offender falling within the government definition of ‘Domestic Abuse’ Government definition of domestic abuse Any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality

Where did our referrals come from? 52% West Northants 42% North Northants 5% out of area 1% not recorded/stated Who was referred to us? 3% aged 12yrs and under 7% aged 13-17 14% aged 18-25 24% 26-35 20% 36-45 14% 46-55 9% 56-65 8%65+ 1% unknown

Referrals by ethnicity (combined services) 69.2% white 22.3% unknown/not stated 5% black 3.2% Asian 0.4% other 0.06 mixed/multiple Referrals by gender (combined services) 54.26% female 43.52% make 2.18% unknown/not stated 0.02% trans/nonbinary 674 Referrals related to offences against Police officers

How quick did we contact our referrals? Victims in the following categories are entitled to enhanced support as set out within the Victims code of practice; • Victims of the most serious crime • Persistently targeted victims; and • Vulnerable or intimidated victims We aim to contact victims referred into Voice services who are entitled to enhanced support within 48 hrs of receipt of referral. We contacted 96% within 48hrs. We aim to contact all other victims referred into Voice services within 72 hrs of receipt of referral. We contacted 93% within 72hrs. * Based on a combined valid referral volume of 40,040. We aim to contact victim / survivors referred into the Sunflower Centre within 24 hrs of receipt of referral. We contacted 96% within 24 hrs We helped direct 1,973 victim’s resident out of county to their local victim support services. “It was so helpful to have someone to talk to help me make sense of what I was experiencing and help me see it for what it is.” “You have been amazing, finally someone has listened and helped, I actually think you have changed my life and I recognise now that people would take advantage of me”

Who we supported… We supported 3242 clients 1225 Sunflower Centre 101 Roadharm Service 1875 Adult service 41 CYP Service Our introductions team contacted over 43,000 referrals by phone, letter, email and sms to ensure they were aware of our services and to offer advice and support.

Who needed our support? (By crime type) 37.8% High risk domestic abuse 21.7% Medium and standard risk domestic abuse 2.2% Hate crime 2.9% Sexual offences 5.2% Violent crimes 3.8% Harassment/stalking 2.5% Burglary 14.2% Repeat victim / multiple crime 8.7% Other crimes We also supported victims and witnesses involved in an average of 1897 cases per month going through the court system.

Sunflower centre clients accepting support were; 95% female 4% male 1% other/not recorded Voice clients accepting support (all crime types combined) were: 70% female 27.7% male 2.7% other/unknown

How did we support them? 1000 clients / 30.9% had emergency crisis response and regular ongoing IDVA support 633 clients / 19.5% were provided with immediate emotional support, advice or guidance 578 clients / 17.8% were given practical support including access to free personal and home safety devices. 479 clients / 14.8% received a combination of immediate and practical support

504 clients / 15.5% accepted regular dedicated one to one emotional support sessions with our specialist support workers and volunteers 48 clients / 1.5% were referred for specialist trauma therapy or counselling from our contracted specialist support providers. 2,823 support sessions were provided by voice support workers, volunteers,councillors and therapists and 1,662 hours of emotional support “Thank you I have had a really supportive experience. You provided the right level of of support that I needed at each stage of my recovery” “You were my absolute rock when I was at my lowest point, you kept ringing me and giving me the confidence to carry on, you gave me hope that things would be ok, you advocated for me when I did not feel I had a voice”

We also supported victim/survivors of Domestic Abuse by; Providing access pathways to refuge or alternative accommodation Offering comprehensive safety planning with individualised support plans Attending Specialist domestic Abuse courts held in the county to ensure clients voices were heard Providing advocacy and guidance to accessing financial support or obtaining legal orders We provided more than 75 Emergency Supermarket Vouchers to clients Referring into, co-ordinating, administering, and attending over 1560 Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) to safeguard the highest risk victim/survivors in the county Providing over 180 free counselling sessions with Volunteer councillors to clients of the Sunflower centre IDVA service We helped secure charitable funding from the Faraway Children’s charity for laptops, furniture and Christmas presents for a family fleeing abuse We provided free emergency essentials packs to over 120 clients fleeing abuse We provided free Emergency mobile Phones with credit to approx. 60 clients We used donations received into the victims fund to help clients with accommodation, travel costs and essential white goods

How did we do? Adult clients said... 90% would recommend voice services 89% said they were better able to cope with every day life 84% said they felt safer 84% had increased confidence and self esteem 80% of adult voice service users who received support and completed an exit survey said that their Health and wellbeing had improved Adult Clients receiving support from Voice services for domestic related offences said… 95% felt safer 95% had increased confidence and self esteem 93% had improved health & wellbeing 93% felt better able to cope with every day life 87.5% felt the support they had received also positivly benefited their children

Children & young people said.. 100% felt more empowered 100% said they were better able to cope with every day life 100% said they felt safer 100% of children and young people who received support and completed an exit survey said that their Health and wellbeing had improved Road collision clients said.. 94% Roadharm clients were satisfied with the speciailist therapy they received. Sunflower centre clients said.. 95% said they felt safer 94% would recommend sunflower services 92% said they were better able to cope with every day life 87% had increased confidence and self esteem 86% of IDVA clients completing an exit survey said that their Health and wellbeing had improved 85% of clients with children in their care felt that the support they had received also positivly benefited their children

What else have we been doing? We were successful in bidding for additional grant funding from the MOJ to deliver specialist support to victims of abuse during and post pandemic. We have introduced a specialist Diversity and Inclusion IDVA to provide support to clients who may not have rights to financial support, speak limited English, have unstable immigration status or additional cultural needs that may create barriers in allowing them to flee abuse or access support in the same way as clients without these additional needs. This IDVA works to support these clients whilst also building a network of support across the county of Northamptonshire and building relationships with the diverse communities therein. We have introduced an initiative in joint partnership with Northamptonshire Police and the force control room to provide Crisis Response IDVA provision at peak times during weekend evenings based within the Control room and deployable across the county to provide Domestic Abuse advice and guidance to attending officers, and once the offender has been removed, to provide fast paced crisis support to victim/survivors of abuse immediately following the offence. We have employed a dedicated and accredited IDVA to provide specialist support to clients with combined complex needs including substance misuse, poverty, homelessness, or mental health. Our accredited Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC) provides advocacy, support and advice to individuals experiencing stalking and harassment ensuring that the victim/survivors voice is at the centre of their work. This Caseworker acts as the single point of contact for victims of intimate and non -intimate stalking. We have continued to deliver a package of external Training opportunities for professionals within the county including • DA Matters training to Police officers & Staff • DA Awareness & Safeguarding training to staff of NHFT / NHS • Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment (DASH) risk assessment & MARAC referral processes to a wide variety of partnership agencies For Victims of serious and life changing road traffic collisions, our team of specialist support workers have provided interim emotional support to ensure those affected have the support they require during the immediate weeks following the collision and ahead of any latter potential trauma therapy or counselling. For Our Children and young people, we have introduced a team of dedicated youth specialist support workers to encourage communication and engagement in support. We are always keen to support local and national charities and this year our charity of the year was ‘The Lewis foundation’ a local charity that provide free care packs to adults undergoing cancer treatment in our local hospitals. We spent our free time, helping the Lewis Foundation team to prepare these care packs at their sorting depot, collecting items to be contained in the care packs, packing and donating our own Christmas care packs and taking part in lots and lots of fundraising activities raising £2094 along the way

What is coming up next? We will be reintroducing a visible dedicated Hospital IDVA service located at both Kettering General and Northampton General Hospitals. The independent Domestic Abuse Advisor will be based on site across both hospital locations to provide advice and support to NHS colleagues and a discreet confidential service to patients. We will be working hard to ensure our LGBTQ community are supported to report abuse and access support. Our team of IDVAs and Speciailist Domestic abuse Support workers will be undertaking cultural competency training to ensure all of practices and risk asessments processes reflect and understand cultural diversity. We have recently developed an in house group work programme for clients who have or are experiencing abuse which is currenty being delivered as a pilot and that we hope will become a regular offering to future clients. We will be working hard to achieve leading lights accreditation for our Sunflower centre IDVA service and to achieve the Victims choice quality mark for our Voice support services.

Read the full report here