Victim’s Commissioner visits Gwent victims hub
Baroness Newlove, the Victim’s Commissioner for England and Wales, has visited the Gwent victims hub in Blackwood three years after she helped to launch it.
Connect Gwent, which is funded through the Gwent Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, is the only hub for victims and witnesses of crime of its kind in Wales.
It brings together a range of specialist organisations under one roof to provide advice, advocacy, support and guidance to victims, whether they choose to report incidents to the police or not.
Baroness Newlove launched the service back in 2015 and since doors opened the hub has supported about 4,000 people.
Baroness Newlove said: “It was fantastic to return to Connect Gwent and see the work that has been taking place over the last few years. Victims can often be passed from one agency to another but what they need is one person who understands their situation and can guide them through the help and support available to them.
“I was privileged to meet a number of victims who are being helped to recover from crime by Connect Gwent. What I heard from them is that they would be lost without the support of the staff at Connect Gwent.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Eleri Thomas MBE, said: “We are hugely proud of Connect Gwent which was the first victim support hub of its kind in Wales.
“By bringing key organisations together under one roof we can ensure that we are always putting the victim first, offering them dedicated support that addresses their individual needs.”
The hub has more than 30 members of staff and many volunteers who work across the five local authority areas of Gwent. Agencies include Age Cymru, Umbrella Cymru, Victim Support, and New Pathways, while other staff include a specialist modern day slavery and human trafficking caseworker, the police witness care unit, a specialist fraud officer and restorative justice coordinator.
Connect Gwent also works with many other organisations across Gwent to provide a person centred support package.
Assistant Chief Constable, Rhiannon Kirk said: “This is an invaluable service which recognises that victims of crime have many different needs, ranging from the practical to the emotional or just simply in the form of advice signposting.
“We are absolutely committed as a Force to creating an effective partnership framework to tackle crime and safeguard victims.”
To speak with an advisor at Connect Gwent call 0300 123 21 33. You can also follow them on Twitter @connectgwent