Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove has secured £137,000 of Government funding to provide support for child victims of sexual abuse in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
The Commissioner submitted a bid to the Ministry of Justice Victims Fund to enable four advisors to be employed over the next year, one in each Local Authority area covered by Humberside Police. There are already four advisors working with adult victims, one of whom is funded by Matthew, but there was an identified gap in provision for children.
All the new advisors will be experts in sexual offences and the Criminal Justice System.
Currently victims of serious violent sexual crimes who are under the age of 18 receive little specialist advice or support, it may be available to them through the witness and courts service and later through counselling and similar, but this can be fragmented and is not universally available.
The support the new advisors will provide includes providing advice to young victims of sexual violence, abuse and child sexual exploitation, assessing their risk and needs with regular reviews and helping them through the legal process. They will also play a significant part in improving awareness of child sexual exploitation in communities.
Matthew Grove said: “From this year I will become responsible for commissioning victims’ services across the Humberside Police area. During my research into the services already available I was deeply concerned to discover there was a lack of support for child victims of sexual abuse and their families. In my Police and Crime Plan I have made the protection of children and young people a priority. They are the most vulnerable members of our society and deserve the highest level of support and care.