Beacon

What Am I Entitled To?

As a victim of crime you are entitled to have access to support services, irrespective of whether you have reported a crime to the police or not.

The Victims Code of Practice defines a victim as:

  • A person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct and a close relative (spouse, partner, relatives, siblings or dependents) of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct.

Entitlement to enhanced services

We know that not everyone requires extensive support or assistance. Sometimes, just knowing that support is there is enough. But for others, their personal circumstance can make them more in need of support.

Under the Victims’ Code of Practice those who are entitled to an enhanced service are:

  • victims of the most serious crime;
  • persistently targeted victims; and
  • vulnerable or intimidated victims.

If you belong to one or more of these groups and would like support please contact Beacon.

If you are unsure if you belong to one or more of these groups please see below for a more detailed explanation.

 

Victims' Code Priority Groups

1. Victims of the most serious crime

If you are a victim of:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Hate crime
  • Terrorism
  • Sexual offences
  • Human trafficking
  • Attempted murder
  • Kidnap
  • False imprisonment
  • Arson with intent to endanger life
  • Wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent

2. Persistently targeted victims

If you have been targeted on more than one occasion, over a period of time, particularly if you have been deliberately targeted or you are a victim of harassment or stalking.

3. Vulnerable or intimidated victims

Vulnerable victims

a) You are under the age of 18 years at the time of the offence, or

b) The quality of your evidence is likely to be affected because:

  • You suffer from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983;
  • You have a learning disability;
  • You have a physical disability or are suffering from a physical disorder.

Intimidated victims

  • If the quality of your evidence will be affected because of your fear or distress about testifying in court.

When assessing whether a victim is intimidated, we take account of:

  • Fear or distress about appearing in court due to behaviour from the accused toward the victim
  • Sexual offences, human trafficking are automatically deemed as intimidated. Some gun and knife offences are also included
  • The victim’s age; social and cultural background; religious beliefs or political opinions; ethnic origin; domestic and employment circumstances.

 

Beacon Victim Care Centre Aims

Our service aims to help you to cope and recover from the impact of crime.

Our approach recognises the importance of ensuring that practical and emotional support is on hand and understands that your needs change over time.

Please also refer to our GET HELP section that provides links for specialist support organisations.

 

Contacting Beacon

If you feel that you are entitled to an enhanced service please call the Victim Care Centre on 03000 11 55 55 (option 3) between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and between 9am and 5pm on Saturdays.

A Case Manager will discuss your needs with you and, where appropriate, work with partners to provide a complete wrap around service to help you to cope and recover. All calls are treated confidentially.

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Assessing your support needs

We are all different and crime can affect us all in different ways. For some people this may mean you require some additional support. At Beacon, we can be here to give you that additional support. We will ensure that your needs are heard and that you get the help you deserve.

We believe you’re a victim of crime if you:

  • have suffered physical, mental or emotional harm or financial loss as a direct result of criminal conduct.

It is important to note that we’ll give you our full support even if you prefer not to report your crime to the police. You can contact us directly on 03000 11 55 55 (Option 3).

If you have reported the crime

After reporting a crime, the Victim Service Team from the police will contact you to give you your crime number and explain what happens next. They also at this point assess whether you fall into one of the four priority groups of people who are automatically offered enhanced victim support under the Victims’ Code of Practice. The people that fall into one of these groups are people:

  • affected by the most serious crimes
  • persistently targeted by crime
  • vulnerable by age or physical or mental health
  • intimidated

If you do fall within a priority group

If you fall into one of these groups, it is considered that you might require some additional support. For this reason, you’ll be contacted by the Victim Service Team who will offer you support from ourselves at Beacon. It is up to you whether you choose to take our support, and the offer of support is open-ended so that you can come back to our support if you change your mind.

If you don’t fall within a priority group

If you don’t fall within one of the priority groups, the Victim Service Team will still provide you with our details and information so that you have the option to request some additional support if you feel it is needed. Please do also take a look at our Get Help page to see if there are any other services or charities in your area that may be able to help you with specific needs you might have. 

What Beacon can provide and how we assess your needs

Once you have begun support with us at Beacon, we start by assessing your specific needs using a needs assessment. This will tell us what areas you need support with and how we might be able to help. We assess how the crime has impacted several different areas including:

  • mental and physical health
  • shelter and accommodation
  • family, friends and children
  • education, skills and employment
  • drugs and alcohol
  • finance and benefits
  • outlook and attitudes
  • social interactions

By looking at these areas we can see the full impact that the crime has had on your life and see what support might be needed. From these needs we are able to create a support plan with you. We offer a wide range of support around the impact of the crime including:

  • Practical support; advice and information
  • One to one support with a Case Manager
  • Someone to talk to in confidence, whether the crime has been reported or not
  • Signposting to, or contact with, other agencies that can provide specialist help

If you have communication difficulties, we’ll arrange suitable help. If you don’t understand or speak English, we’ll arrange an interpreter for you.

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Hertfordshire Victims’ Charter

At Beacon, we’re committed to helping you overcome any harm and suffering you experience as a result of a crime against you. Our role is to ensure you receive the help and support you need at every stage of the process. This means we’re here for you from the moment you contact us to the day your case is complete.

Our pledge to you. Our services will:

  • be easy to access
  • inform you of your entitlements under the Victims’ Code
  • be supportive and of high quality
  • meet your needs
  • be available in a manner of your choosing, when you need them
  • enable you to feel and stay safe
  • be free of charge

 

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What We Do

At The Beacon Victim Care Centre, our main focus is to help victims cope and recover from their experience with crime. If needed, our team of dedicated and trained professionals can be there to support you every step of the way.

Firstly, if you have reported the crime to the police, you will automatically be contacted by the Victim Service Team. They will tell you about:

  • Your Crime Reference Number
  • What happens next
  • The services available to you

They will also ask how you would like to be notified of progress with your crime and how often you would like to be updated.

Additionally, they will find out you whether you are entitled to additional support from our Beacon Victim Care Team and ask you whether you would like it. Under the Victims' Code of Practice, some victims have personal circumstances that entitle them to additional support. You can find out more about enhanced support here. If you are not entitled to additional support under the Victims Code of Practice, you can still contact our Beacon Victim Care Team at any time to arrange practical help or emotional support.

Anyone who is entitled to, or feels they need our support, is assigned a Case Manager. Your Case Manager will undertake a needs assessment with you, which will help assess what impact the crime has had on you and your life. They then develop a support plan based on what you might need, and what support we can offer. Where necessary, we can refer you on to other services who have specialist skills and knowledge, however, rest assured this will only happen if you give your approval.

If you have been a victim of a crime and would like support but you do not want to report the crime to the police you are still entitled to the services Beacon can provide.

To access our Beacon Victim Care Team support, you can contact us using the contact details provided below. Please be assured your enquiry will be handled sensitively and in confidence.

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