Hampshire and the Isle of Wight's police and crime commissioner (PCC) has unveiled a new state-of-the-art £4.3m service for victims of crime, named the Victim Care Hub.

The four new Victim Care Hubs introduce a system of support for victims across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary area.

The hubs have been integrated into police stations strategically distributed across the two counties - including in Southampton - with the aim of bringing together policing and support for victims under a unified roof for the first time.

The service, launched internally on February 1, was unveiled at a launch event yesterday. 

Delivery is being undertaken by national charity Victim Support.

These hubs are intended to provide emotional and practical aid to victims while guiding them through the criminal justice process.

The Victim Care Hubs are open to anyone of any age at any given time, and victims do not have to report to police to access the service.

The support aims to assist anyone who seeks help with coping and recovery from the impacts of crime. This includes victims, their families, and the wider community.

Victim Support teams staff the hubs alongside specialist support from providers who focus on delivering 'bespoke' support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual crimes, as well as support for children and young people.

PCC Donna Jones said: “As commissioner, I am committed to finding ways to improve the police service for those living in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

"From the thousands of conversations I have had with the public, it was clear to me I needed to overhaul the approach to victim care.

"Not only to ensure victim’s rights are met, but to also fulfil my mandate to the public by increasing police effectiveness by reducing the demand on officers and the 101 service to provide updates to victims, and putting that care in the hands of specialist professionals.  

“This new model will help free up officer time by reducing calls to 101 and time spent by police officers answering queries, and by assisting victims with investigation updates."