A support service for victims of stalking in Sussex is to be commissioned by Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne following the success of a pilot project in Brighton & Hove to understand the demand for specialist support.
For the first time the service, run by community interest company Veritas Justice, will help victims county-wide to cope and recover as well as raising awareness of the risks associated with stalking behaviours and championing victims’ rights.
The funding for the scheme comprises £62,500 from the Police & Crime Commissioner and £30,000 from Sussex Police over the next two years.
“I look forward to helping Veritas Justice build on the success of our pilot project in Brighton and Hove,” says PCC Katy Bourne. “The pilot, established in 2015, highlighted that there is a very real need for a consistent, professional and effective service to support stalking victims across the whole of Sussex.”
The project will see two independent stalking advocacy case workers work with people affected by stalking, who will be referred to the service by Sussex Police, the National Stalking Helpline, Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service and other partner agencies from across Sussex.
“As the experiences of those who have been stalked, such as Naomi who is featured in this video, demonstrate it’s clear that we need to invest in a local specialist service for victims of stalking and support needs to be available whether or not victims wish to make a report to the police. The support of experienced and trained case workers can make a significant difference to a victim and the professionals working with them,” added Mrs Bourne.