Added by Freedom of Information Team on 20 October 2016 at 14:07
Please could you provide details of any policy or guidance Avon and Somerset Police gives its officers on what advice they should give victims of crime about getting therapy during ongoing proceedings.
General training is provided to Police Officers during their initial training. They are advised that victims should contact their GP or other organisations to support them if required. Officers would then be guided by medical advice on how to proceed.
In addition Lighthouse Victim Care Officers support all victims who present with an enhanced need, namely victims who are vulnerable, intimidated, persistently targeted or victims of serious offences (such as hate crime, domestic abuse or sexual assaults. Lighthouse officers carry out needs assessments with every victim in order to identify what support needs they have. Victims, who do not present as enhanced from the outset, are referred to Lighthouse at point of charge and a risk assessment is undertaken at that stage. Referrals to specialist support agencies are made on a needs appropriate basis, and that does include therapy or counselling referrals at any stage where needed.
It may also be helpful for you to know that the Ministry of Justice publishes on the gov.uk website statutory guidance on the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime which explains what the criminal justice process is, what criminal justice agencies will do to support victims of crime and keep them informed about what happens in their case, see below links:
The Code of Practice states that if an individual is a victim of the most serious crime, persistently targeted or vulnerable or intimidated, they are entitled to pre-trial therapy and counselling, where appropriate, amongst other entitlements.
In addition you may wish to visit our website to access further information which may be of use to you:
FOI reference: 1160/16.
Date of request: 17.09.16.