A new £12m fund supporting victims of the most serious crimes has been welcomed by Vera Baird, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.
Victims’ Minister Damian Green announced the fund which can be bid for by Police and Crime Commissioners on top of their yearly budget for 2014/15.
The money can be used to commission further specialist services for locally based victims of the most serious crimes including domestic and sexual abuse.
Northumbria’s Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I’m delighted funding is being supplied for such very important services.
“One of the objectives in my Police and Crime Plan is domestic and sexual abuse and I’ve taken a personal lead on this issue.
“Together with my fellow north east Police and Crime Commissioners we’ve developed the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and we’re working with partners to tackle the culture which permits violence against women.
“Equally we know these issues also exist for some men, although this is not at the same level as those facing women and girls.”
The Commissioner continued: “Additional funding like the £12m announced provides people with much needed services and can prove a lifeline to the many people whose lives have been blighted by such abuse.
“Victims need to be made to feel secure from the start and offered the full range of support they need to help them move forward.”
The £12m funding will be in addition to the £4.4m which has already been dedicated to specialist services at 78 female rape support centres across England and Wales until 2016.
The coming year will also see two new rape support centres established by the Ministry of Justice, bringing the total established to 15 since 2010.
One of these centres already exists in the Northumbria area but the locations for the two new centres have still to be decided.