MP's throughout the country visited their Victim Support Schemes on Friday November 14th, and Sir George looked in at Andover Victim Support, based in the Court House in West St.
"I was impressed by the skills and patience of the seven volunteers, and the professionalism of the organisation. With a small budget and a minute office, they manage some 1600 contacts a year. Every week, someone who has been at the receiving end of a crime is visited by Victim Support, and another will call at the office. Many more receive help, advice and sympathy over the telephone. As our Criminal Justice system focusses on the needs of victims and witnesses, so it is important that these local organisations are able to flourish."
Victim Support will pursue Criminal Injuries Compensation where appropriate, and have good links with other agencies such as Andover CAB.
Sir George also visited the Witness Service, based in the same building. "Giving evidence and facing cross-examination can be daunting, and the Witness Service provides essential support to the witnesses, withoput whom the Courts could not function."
Extract from letter of invitation.
"We are a relatively new area created from the amalgamation of all twenty Victim Support and Witness Services in Hampshire in January 2003. However, Victim Support and the Witness Service has been helping victims and witnesses in Hampshire for over ten years, the Magistrates Court Witness Service was added two years ago and the newest addition is the Child Witness Service Pilot which started in April this year and will become fully operative this October. The l4th of November will be an extraordinary day where you will be able to meet with our staff and volunteers and find out what help and support Victim and Witness Service offers Victims and Witnesses in Hampshire.
Our staff and volunteers will be pleased to answer any questions you have.
We would be delighted if you would be able to attend and help us to make the most of this special occasion. We are especially pleased to offer this day in the light of the Home Offices' decision to devolve funding to the Local Criminal Justice Board, it is an important and exciting time for us to look to the future and ensure that our services continues to be recognised as an integral but independent part of the criminal justice system, especially by those who can ensure our longevity."
In picture from left to right.
John Dowsett (Witness Support) Janette Thompson (Volunteer) Carol Rooke and Amanda Treneer Michell (Co-ordinators) Joan Woods (Witness Service) Ben Gibbons (Ex-Chairman, Andover, Director and Trustee Victim Support Hampshire) GY