Pontypool Launches Pilot Surgeries

From today (May 1st 2014), a Victim Support surgery will be held every Thursday between 12pm and 2pm at Pontypool Police Station in Torfaen. This is the first time Victim Support have trialled these surgeries specifically at police stations in Wales.

The surgeries offer victims the chance to speak to Victim Support representatives in private for practical and emotional support and guidance as well as a chance for an update about their specific crime. The effectiveness of the surgeries will be evaluated during the course of the year and, dependant on the success of this initial pilot, the surgeries could be rolled out to other police stations throughout Gwent in future.

Pontypool Police station in Torfaen was one of several police stations in Gwent reopened 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday last month by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston. Mr Johnston has welcomed this latest initiative which is aimed at maximising the use of and engagement opportunities at the police station and to provide more of a complete level of support for victims of crime within Torfaen.

Protecting people from serious harm is one of the key priorities outlined in Ian Johnston's Police and Crime plan for Gwent. In September last year he launched his Victims' Charter which outlines the minimum standard of service victims involved in the criminal justice process in Gwent can expect.

Welcoming the launch, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "I want to ensure a victim-centred focus to the services being delivered by Gwent Police and our other partners and these surgeries are all about listening to people and delivering the best quality of service possible for those who are victims' of crime in Gwent.

This is also about maximising the use of the stations we have opened and extending engagement opportunities with the public. We want these stations to be a hub in the local community and it's vital that local people have access to these kinds of services. I believe the strength of policing here in Gwent is in its local delivery."

Urging people to make best use of the service, Pontypool Inspector, Richie Blakemore, said: "This is an initiative to provide a more complete level of support for victims of crime within Torfaen. We would like to invite all victims of crime to come and speak to us."

Mandy Wilmot, Divisional Manager Wales for Victim Support, said: "Victim Support is very pleased to be involved in the first of the Victim's Surgeries at police stations. This is an excellent opportunity for more local engagement with the police. This will give victims the opportunity to talk to someone about their experience, to access relevant information, including getting a police update on their case, and information on the court process.

Further support can then be arranged for them if necessary. We really hope that this initiative takes off, it's a really proactive step to bring this support into the local communities and an example of what good partnership work can achieve."

The surgeries will be held at Pontypool police station every Thursday between 12pm and 2pm.

Victims of crime and antisocial behaviour in Torfaen will be able to drop in to the police station and speak to a Victim Support volunteer