Sugden commends Victim Support NI on 35 years of service supporting victims of crime

Date published: 24 November 2016

Justice Minister, Claire Sugden has opened the Victim Support 35th Anniversary conference, addressing the needs of vulnerable victims, and congratulated the voluntary organisation on their outstanding support to victims and witnesses of crime.

Sugden commends Victim Support NI on 35 years of service supporting victims of crime

Around 112 volunteers and fulltime staff deliver support services, advocacy and advice to victims and witnesses when they are involved with criminal justice organisations. They also offer support with Criminal Injuries Compensation and court appearances.

Delivering the keynote address Minister Claire Sugden said: “Victims and witnesses deserve particular support  to help  them when they positively engage with the criminal justice system. 

“The work of Victim Support is vital and last year alone over 39,000 victims had access to Victim Support’s community services. 

“I look forward to working with Victim Support NI, in the future, and supporting the delivery of their vital services in helping to reduce the impact of crime.

“I congratulate the volunteers and support staff, past and present, in the positive contribution they have made to the community across Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Victim Support NI is an independent, voluntary organisation which receives £1.8m annually in funding from the Department of Justice to provide the following services to victims and prosecution witnesses of crime:

  • The Community Service helps those affected by crime deal with its personal and practical impact, by providing emotional support, information, advocacy and advice about dealing with the different agencies within the criminal justice system.
  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation Service offers assistance to applicants claiming Criminal Injuries Compensation and also assists victims make a Victim Personal Statement; and
  • The Witness Service helps adult prosecution witnesses before, during and after they attend the Crown, Magistrates’ or Youth Courts.  The service provides emotional support, information on the court process, and also offers a pre-trial visit, all with the aim of helping witnesses give their best evidence.
  • Hate Crime Advocacy Co-ordinator supports the PSNI-funded Hate Crime Advocacy Service by providing administrative support for the service as well as personalised practical and emotional support to victims of hate crime post the PSNI investigative stage.

2.  All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 90526444.Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.

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