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During Covid-19 the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN) has been working tirelessly to ensure the right help and support remains in place for those in most need in the county.
Within hours of the lockdown in late March the team – many working virtually themselves – contacted partners and commissioned services across Norfolk to assess how they could best help keep services flowing.
From helping victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence, supporting those being targeted by scammers, assisting those at risk of exploitation or those determined to turn around their lives and find a roof over their heads, the team have covered it all.
Through their work with the PCC’s Youth Commission the OPCCN has also helped to ensure young people in Norfolk continued to have a voice through the pandemic, while also ensuring Norfolk’s community continued to have a say about policing through the Independent Advisory Group.
Norfolk’s PCC Lorne Green, said: “I am immensely proud of the work my team have been doing since lockdown to make sure those who need help and support during such an unsettling time have received it.
“They have worked tirelessly to ensure the right funding has been directed where it is needed the most or the right support and expertise given to help keep vital services running.
“They have also continued to give a voice, not only to victims of abuse or exploitation but to the younger generation and to wider members of our community whose voices really count at this difficult time.”
Here’s how the team have been helping those most at need during the pandemic:
- A new partnership project was launched aimed at preventing homelessness among ex-offenders and reducing the likelihood they will return to criminal behaviour.
- Nearly £250,000 worth of funding was secured for organisations across the county to help and support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence during the pandemic.
- Members of the PCC’s Youth Commission continued working with partners across Norfolk in a bid to help understand the impact of the pandemic on young people.
- We publicised how Norfolk Constabulary had begun using specially liveried police vehicles in a bid to raise public awareness of modern slavery thanks to funding from the PCC.
- A service which provided help and support to more than 1,200 Norfolk scam victims last year was extended for a further year.
- Members of Norfolk’s Independent Advisory Group (IAG) held their first virtual meeting with police since the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Victims and survivors of domestic abuse continued to get the vital support they needed thanks to funding from the OPCCN.
- Partners from across the county, including the OPCCN, joined forces to take part in a live online Q&A event to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
- Interim measures for custody were introduced to support our team of Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) to continue their monitoring of detainee treatment and welfare.
- The OPCCN joined partners across Norfolk to raise awareness of stalking and harassment and remind victims help was still available.
- Norfolk’s PCC held a virtual meeting with specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence providers in a bid to offer continued reassurance and support in light of Covid-19.
- A vital support service for victims of crime commissioned by the OPCCN, sent out the message that its team was still very much there for those who need its help and advice.
- As a Friends Against Scams SCAMbassador, (PCC) Lorne Green warned that ‘knowledge was power’ when it came to being scam aware. Advice was given on how people could keep themselves safe from scammers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- The OPCCN moved to reassure victims and survivors of domestic abuse help was still available during the challenging time.
- Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green reassured the public “supporting victims and reducing vulnerability continued to be an absolute key priority” amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
And the work has not stopped there. The OPCCN continues to make a difference by providing vital emotional and practical support to thousands of victims of crime in Norfolk.
Some 6.5 new domestic abuse worker posts and dozens of mobile phones and laptop devices have been funded for vulnerable victims and two short-term emergency refuges were also set up for domestic abuse victims.
The OPCCN also sponsored a series of radio adverts in May and June urging victims of domestic abuse to seek help or those who suspected someone was being abused to speak out. The ads linked in with Norfolk County Council’s ‘See Something, Hear Something, Say Something’ campaign and reached more than 44,000 people via partners’ social media platforms.
The team remains in regular contact with all our commissioned services to offer help and guidance on how to best put in place contingency arrangements and adapt services to address demand.