Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping has welcomed a government announcement giving the county greater control over funding for sexual violence services.
Under new plans announced by the Ministry of Justice, Nottinghamshire is to become one of five pilot areas to gain full control over area funding on sexual violence support.
It will give police and crime commissioners the freedom to commission the best practical and emotional services for victims of rape and sexual abuse in their areas.
The move will enable Mr Tipping to work with survivors, providers and other funders to make localised decisions based on need and demand and pave the way for a more effective response to victims of sexual violence in Nottinghamshire.
Mr Tipping said: “This is positive news for victims of sexual violence in Nottinghamshire and will give us the flexibility to procure services which address key areas of recovery while also making the whole process of accessing help easier.
“From past experience, we know victims of sexual violence can sometimes find it difficult to navigate the many layers of help available and this announcement will help us to achieve consistency by bringing all partners into a single model of recovery care.
“I am very encouraged by the MoJ’s decision to select Nottinghamshire as a pilot area.
“We have a strong record of delivering high quality support to victims of sexual violence and I’m proud our approach has gained national recognition.
“It is important to reiterate this money is already being spent on sexual violence support services in Nottinghamshire and does not represent additional investment. “However, with more control now being devolved from central government we will in future have the authority to design services which address the specific needs of survivors locally and complement the services provided by our Clinical Commissioning Groups who have primary responsibility for therapeutic support.
“My priority has and always will be to help victims of crime recover, and ensure their needs are fully met to provide the best chance of recovery and this development will certainly help us to do that.”
Nottinghamshire will join Greater London, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hampshire as “test sites” to be given full commissioning responsibilities for sexual violence and abuse services as part of the Government’s commitment to further devolve justice powers.
Ministers have acted to provide dedicated support organisations greater stability and security to ensure they can focus on delivering their essential services.
Edward Argar MP, Justice Minister, said:“Rape and sexual abuse are devastating crimes, so I am encouraged that more victims are coming forward to receive support.
“Understanding local need is crucial in making sure victims can access the right services at the right time, which is why we’re committed to giving PCC’s more power to make decisions for their areas.
“By providing additional funding we are ensuring that victims can access vital practical and emotional support, so that fewer are left to suffer in silence.”