Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. London now accounts for nearly a fifth of all crime in England and Wales. The number of people who live in, work in and visit the Capital is growing and becoming more diverse, resulting in an increased demand on services to keep them safe from crime and supporting the complexity and multiplicity of needs for those, particularly the most vulnerable, who are harmed by their experience of crime.
1.2. MOPAC assumed devolved responsibility from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for commissioning the majority of victims’ services in London from 1st October 2014 and annual funding of over £10 million is granted to MOPAC by the MoJ for this purpose (“MoJ Victims Fund”).
1.3. The Police and Crime Plan (PCP) 2017-21 puts victims at the heart of everything we do and makes significant commitments to ensuring better services and experience of the Criminal Justice Service for victims of crime.
1.4. The Integrated Victim and Witness Services Resource Plan 2017-2020, PCD 174, outlined a 3-year plan to deliver MOPAC’s ambitions to build on existing services, increase support for priority victims and transform the current provision into an integrated, accessible, responsive, quality service offer to victims and those affected by crime and help deliver the commitments of the PCP.
1.5. Victim Support (Registered charity number 298028) provides a Multi-Crime Service for which MOPAC has provided grant funding in previous years.
1.6. The Multi-Crime Service is designed to help victims and those affected by crime to deal with the immediate aftermath, both emotionally and practically, of experiencing or witnessing a crime; helping them navigate the criminal justice system and ensure that they receive their entitlements under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime; and enabling them, through the provision of support and therapeutic services, to confidently continue with their lives and minimising their experience of crime impacting on their health and wellbeing, education and employment, and family and relationships.
1.7. The integration of MOPAC victims’ services and associated commissioning plans to create a new Victims’ Service for London is in development with an anticipated start date for 2019-20. For 2018-19 it is, therefore, necessary to sustain via grant funding, with incremental improvements, the current provision of a Multi-Crime Service delivered by Victim Support. This is the main referral pathway into support for victims reporting their crime to the police.
1.8. This decision form is to request approval for the award of a grant of £5,179,094 grant to Victim Support for the provision of the Multi-Crime Service in 2018-19.
2. The Multi-Crime Service Offer
2.1. Last year there were 760,493 identified victims of crime recorded by the Metropolitan Police Service in the last year. 198,491 individuals were referred to the Multi-Crime Service provided by Victim Support and, of these, just over 16 per cent took up the offer of further support.
2.2. Victim Support has delivered continuous improvement in terms of service take-up and the identifying of needs. This is incentivised through an ambitious outcomes based payment model in the grant agreement, focusing on key outcomes for victims.
2.3. The proposed one-year grant for 2018-19 will embed further improvement in key areas including referral numbers and service take-up.
2.4. The Multi-Crime Service’s objectives are:
2.4.1. To provide universal access to support for those who choose to report crime and for those who do not and enhanced support to priority referrals;
2.4.2. To contribute to improving victim satisfaction by reducing the points of contact and the current need for multiple needs assessments; and
2.4.3. To raise victims’ awareness of their rights and entitlements under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
2.5. The desired outcomes for the Multi-Crime Service are:
2.5.1. Ensure as many victims as possible who require a service are directed as quickly as possible to the best service for their specific needs;
2.5.2. Improved quality of service to victims;
2.5.3. The long-term impact of the crime is reduced as victims will have improved in the categories of need identified at needs assessment;
2.5.4. Victims have a better understanding of the impacts and consequences of their experience, and their rights as a victim of crime; and
2.5.5. Ensuring that vulnerable and repeat victims are helped to build resilience to future victimisation as well as to cope and recover
3. Issues for consideration
3.1. During the first half of 2018-19, in collaboration with service providers and users, MOPAC will co-design the provision of an integrated, accessible, responsive, quality service offer to victims and those affected by crime operating under a single brand under which all victim and witness services in London will operate.
3.2. The design of the MOPAC-led Multi-Crime universal service offer will streamline the referral pathways through improved information sharing so that the victim or witness does not have to repeat their story whenever they ‘touch’ another service.
3.3. The universal service model will ensure that there is a consistent and effective support mechanism that travels with the individual victim or witness through their cope and recovery and criminal justice journeys. Vulnerable victims will have a lead case worker as their principle point of contact and anchor point.
3.4. This strategic planning for 2018-19 is in line with the commitment in PCD 174 to sustain and continually improve current provision whilst working to integrate services to improve the victim experience.
3.5. This grant agreement will ensure that Multi-Crime Services are maintained at a high quality level to victims of crime in London whilst the design and development of the new services takes place.
4. Financial Comments
The budget has been agreed as part of the Integrated Victim and Witness Services Resource Plan 2017-2020, PCD 174 and review of Integrated Victim and Witness Resource Plan 2018-2020, PCD 377
4.1. In previous years the budget was £5,895,000, as this also included the Children & Young People Service. The Children & Young People’s Service is now subject to a separate grant from the Multi-Crime Service for the first time to aid preparation for future recommissioning as well as to ensure some separation of the outcomes and achievements of both services. That separate grant is for £715,906 making the total budget £5,895,000, as in previous years, and approval is being sought under a separate decision form (PCD 407).
4.2. Both these services are funded from the MoJ Victims Fund.
5. General Data Protection Requirements
5.1 MOPAC will take all reasonable steps to assure that services in receipt of funding from MOPAC are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
5.2 MOPAC has taken proactive steps to assure itself that providers of victim services are compliant with GDPR and other data protection legislation. Providers have completed and provided the Information Commissioner’s Officer’s (ICO) checklist and MOPAC will be convening a workshop, attended by a representative of the ICO, to support their compliance with data protection legislation.
6. Legal Comments
6.1. MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3 (6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 (1) MOPAC has incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7 (2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
6.2. Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social, Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides for MOPAC to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143 (3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate. As the proposals in this decision form are about supporting victims, they fall within the parameters of the legislation.
6.3. Paragraph 4.8 of the MOPAC’s Scheme of Consent and Delegation provides the DMPC with delegated power to approve the strategy for the award of individual grants and/or the award of all individual grants whether to secure or contribute to securing crime reduction in London or for other purposes.
6.4. Officers must ensure that they are content that MOPAC can comply with any conditions to which the Ministry of Justice funding is subject and in any event no reliance should be placed upon such funding until there is a legally binding commitment from Ministry of Justice to provide the same.
6.5. Officers must ensure the Financial Regulations and Contract Regulations are complied with.
6.6. Paragraph 1.7 above indicates that the contribution of £5,179,094 to Victim Support amounts to the provision of grant funding and not payment for services.
6.7. Officers must ensure that an appropriate funding agreement is put in place between and executed by MOPAC and Victim Support before any commitment to fund is made.
7. Equality Comments
7.1. Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that, in the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and
- Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
7.2. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
7.3. The obligation in section 149(1) is placed upon the Mayor, as decision maker. Due regard must be had at the time a particular decision is being considered. The duty is non-delegable and must be exercised with an open mind.
7.4. Some communities are over-represented amongst victimisation data and/or who fall within the scope of the EU Victims' Directive 2012/29/EU, i.e. victims of more serious crimes, vulnerable victims, particularly those whose circumstances make it difficult for them to access support, and repeat or persistently targeted victims, who must receive a prioritised service. In addition, the analysis indicates that those living in more deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to be targeted.
7.5. The evidence indicates differential experiences of victim satisfaction and confidence amongst different sections of London’s community – BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic), women, young people, boys/men, and people with physical and mental health disabilities. The evidence also indicates that some areas of London are more vulnerable than others to crime and victimisation. However, analysis shows that the number of high harm victims that are either BAME or White is proportionate to the current London ethnic projections.
7.6. The proposals detailed in this decision will ensure that a victims’ referral mechanism is provided for all victims of crime in line with the EU Directive on Victims of Crime. In addition, these proposals will ensure enhanced provision through Victim Support for young, vulnerable and repeat and persistently targeted victims.
7.7. The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that only 40 per cent of victims report their crime to the police. The services being funded covered by this decision will be accessible to all victims, whether or not they have reported their crime to the police. MOPAC ensures that pathways into support are tailored so that the police route to support is one of many available to victims.
7.8. The programmes of work covered by this decision will contribute to achieving the aims and objectives outlined in the Police and Crime Plan, which has been underpinned by extensive consultation, including focus groups with victims of crime. The Police and Crime Plan is designed to tackle the inequalities in provision of victim services that were evidenced during these consultation meetings. MOPAC’s service provision and commissioning intentions reflect and take account of these findings. Full Equality Impact Assessments will be undertaken for each of the programmes of work covered by this Decision.
8. Background/supporting papers