Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens is reminding victims of crime that they can still #BeHeard during the COVID-19 outbreak, and that help is available to those who need it.
Despite the need for local people to stay at home to help save lives and lessen the impact of the public health crisis on the NHS, the PCC is encouraging survivors and victims of crime to still come forward and speak out.
Sue is reassuring victims, especially those in domestic abuse environments, that help is still available.
The PCC and her team at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) are working alongside local commissioned victim services to ensure the providers can deliver advocacy, emotional and psychological support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Victims can access support whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not, no matter how long ago it took place.
The PCC also wants to highlight the work of the people working in those services, who have worked tirelessly to find innovative ways to support victims during the global health emergency.
Many of the services are offering remote support via phone or web chat, and their helplines remain active.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “Despite these times of uncertainty, my team and I still want victims to come forward, seek help and be heard.
“We want to hear from victims of all crimes but we are particularly aware of the real risk those living in domestic abuse environments find themselves in.
“Those living with an abusive partner are having to be confined to their homes with the perpetrator and are even more isolated from loved ones; I cannot stress enough that help is still out there and you do not need to suffer in silence
“My team is in regular contact with all of our commissioned services, who I know are working around the clock to find new ways of supporting local people.
“I want to say a massive thank you to those who work for the services who have adapted in these unprecedented times.
“It is more important than ever that we are working together to ensure victims are still able to get the help they so desperately need during the lockdown.”
For more information about the victim services, visit: https://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Commissioning-and-Grants/Victim-Services/Victim-Services-for-20192020.aspx
To report a crime or abuse, call the police on 999 or 101. You can report online by visiting: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/
If you or someone you know is a victim of crime and you wish to report anonymously, call CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.