By Dawn Bargate, Victim Support
It’s always a pleasure to welcome HRH The Princess Royal…
HRH was then able to join a symposium with our partner agencies. The Princess has long links with Victim Support, her knowledge and expertise enhanced the conversation around the issues that rural victim’s face and the barriers that prevent them getting the support they deserve.
The Impact of Rural Crime
We know that the impact of crime on rural communities can leave victims feeling isolated, fearful, vulnerable and sometimes targeted. There are often financial implications: replacing stolen items and the cost of measures to secure property, for example tracking equipment and CCTV, not to mention fly-tipping and the cost to the landowner to have rubbish removed. Of course material things can be replaced but the emotional impact can be deep rooted, not only for the direct victim but also their family members, including their children… How do we reach out to those who need us, particularly when there is a lack of recognition of being a victim and lack of knowledge of what support is available?
The Confidence to Report to the Police
There is almost an acceptance that some things just aren’t worth reporting! Sadly this hides the true extent of the crimes being committed but also adds to the communities’ belief that criminals are getting away with it… How do we address this lack of confidence?
We all have our part to play
The referrals received by Victim Support in no way reflect the number of people experiencing rural crime. We valued having the opportunity to start the conversation with our partners, and most of all to hear the experiences of those impacted. By listening to the voices of the victims and the collective experience in the room, we will build upon what we know to extend our reach and promote our services. We will of course continue to raise the questions and work towards solutions, but we all have a part to play…
HRH promoted and encouraged the debate and of course, as a working farmer, her understanding and examples of problems affecting the English countryside were invaluable.
Victim support offers free confidential support tailored to the individual’s needs, this includes children and others in the family. If you’ve been affected by crime or need support or information then please contact the Supporting Victims Unit on 01609 643 100
Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm.
To learn more about victim services in North Yorkshire, visit the Supporting Victims website.