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10 July, 2023

New report sheds light on Victim’s services in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire's Victims Voice - front cover
A major new report into the needs of Victims in North Yorkshire and the services they rely on has delivered its findings today, following extensive research commissioned by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe in October. 

The aim of the research was to identify the effect of crime on victims and survivors, their various support needs, as well as any barriers to them accessing support services. 

The final report, produced by the research arm of the independent charity Victim Support, drew together the collective experience of victims and survivors of crime in North Yorkshire and York through a range of research methods, including interviews and focus groups with victims and survivors as well as online surveys with victims, survivors, and practitioners.  

We were told that existing support services are providing very good support in North Yorkshire.”

North Yorkshire Victims Voice, page 4

The research acknowledged the importance of independent victim support services in helping people overcome the impact of crime; but said that more was needed to ensure that victims had the confidence to reach out for help. 

The report found that although 88% of victims do inform the police, 73% never actually access support services. In addition, over two-thirds of victims suffer from either emotional or psychological problems, and over a quarter suffer changes to their physical health and/or work performance. The most commonly-required services were those designed to provide immediate advice and guidance, along with emotional support.  

Many victims of crime in North Yorkshire also weren’t aware that support services for victims and survivors were available, or that these services were independent from the police.  

The report made a number of key recommendations, many of which involved increasing the visibility of victim’s support services among the general public and ensuring that victims of crime are always referred to support services, regardless of an individual officer’s perspective of a victim’s needs.  

The need to provide tailored support to specific groups (e.g. children and young people, LGBTQ+ and older people) via a range of engagement methods was also noted, with victims ideally being able to access services via in-person or remote appointments.   

Commissioner Zoë said,  

“The impact of a crime on victims often goes far beyond the event itself, and while we can all be proud of the positive experiences highlighted in the report, we cannot rest on our laurels if people in North Yorkshire and York are to feel safe and be safe.

When I commissioned this report, the last needs assessment of this kind had been undertaken in 2014. I was clear that we needed to listen to the voices of victims of crime if we were to understand what their needs are and how our services can support them to cope and as far as possible, recover from the impact crime has.

The report offers clear recommendations to improve the experience of specific groups of victims, as well as highlighting the need to raise awareness of existing services.”

Debbie Harding, Area Manager for North Yorkshire at Victim Support, said: 

“This report offers vital insight into the needs of victims in North Yorkshire, highlighting the importance of tailored support which is independent of the police. This means ensuring support is accessible for everyone – such as people who speak English as a second language – and offering it through varied methods, such as face to face, telephone, or virtually.

It is also crucial that the fact that support is independent of the police is communicated to victims and survivors, who might otherwise be reluctant to access it.”

 Read the report

If you have been a victim

If you have been a victim of crime or you know someone who has, support is available from skilled Victim Care Co-ordinators, through contacting Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 01609 643100 email

For more information: