Victims of crime will face a postcode lottery for vital support if the Government fails to allocate victims’ services funding where it’s needed, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has warned.
Police and Crime Commissioners take over responsibility for commissioning local victims’ services from April 2014. The current proposal is to base the allocation solely on population, with no consideration of funding being provided to areas where it’s needed the most.
But Greater Manchester’s Commissioner Tony Lloyd believes this decision is misguided and means that victims in the region will be disadvantaged when it comes to receiving vital services.
He’s now written to the Ministry of Justice to urge the Government to think again.
“Devolving responsibility for commissioning these services to Police and Crime Commissioners is a welcome step. Since I was elected I have built strong relationships with service providers and I know every penny will be well spent in Greater Manchester. However, the decision to base the allocation solely on population is misguided,” he said.
“It’s common sense that this money should be distributed on the basis of need, and allocating the funding based on victim-based crime is surely the fairest way, to ensure we can all provide effective support for victims.”
Under current plans, Greater Manchester will receive about £18.05 per victim.
Compared to other areas, victims in Greater Manchester will be significantly disadvantaged. For example, in Dorset this figure rises to £20.40, and in Surrey the per-victim figure is £25.77.
The difference in funding between an allocation based on population compared to one based on need is around £170,000 for Greater Manchester.
“I’m not asking for Greater Manchester to get special treatment but these proposals create a postcode lottery for victims of crime, and will mean those who happen to live in a high crime area become a victim at the hands of, not only of the criminal, but of the state,” Tony added.
“I urge the Government to think again and create a level playing field across England and Wales. Victims should be at the centre of everything we do – they deserve nothing less.”
Methodology for making the per-victim calculation
The government has announced that about £56m of funding will be made available for victims’ services. When making our calculations, we have made the assumption that the full £56m will be distributed locally. The government says we will get 4.78% of the funding, which is based on the population percentage. We’ve taken that figure and divided it by the number of victim-based crimes in Greater Manchester last year to come up with the per-victim figure.
We have applied the same calculations to Dorset and Surrey to get the per-victim figure for those areas.
Victim-based crime is a Home Office categorisation of crimes where the victim can be clearly identified. These include violent crimes directed at a particular individual or individuals, sexual offences, robbery, theft offences (including burglary and vehicle offences), criminal damage and arson.