In This Section
What is it?
The Victims Choice website provides information on victim services around the UK and identifies the victim services in a victim’s own local area. It allows victims or others affected by crime to leave a review of the service they have used, helping others to make more informed choices about what is available.
Why did we develop it?
We conducted a survey to ask people: if you were a victim of crime, how would you know where to get support? Overwhelmingly and not surprisingly in this age of social media, people said they would use Google. Obviously, Google is a great tool and certainly when you type in ‘victim’ or a ‘crime type’ you will find support services within the search results, however, it may not always be the right service for the victim. It also might not cover the area they live in and it might not provide the type of support they want. In order for victims to make a choice, they need to search through multiple websites reading all the information about different organisations. We wanted to make it simple and have it all in one place. This is what Victims Choice delivers.
Why should you be involved?
We want you to be involved because we want victims to have access to the most accurate and up to-date information about support services in the UK, especially those funded by Police and Crime Commissioners. Only service providers can keep their profiles updated, relevant and accurate. We know that there are excellent services being provided and we want those services to be able to be recognised by victims and others and also by commissioners of services and other key stakeholders. We know that things can go wrong, but it’s only through open and honest feedback that there is the opportunity to make changes that will make things better and improve quality. The site will only work if victims know about it and this is where we believe you can make a difference by promoting it through your various communication channels (a link on your website, promotion through social media) and encouraging service providers to promote it to their service users.
How does it work?
Organisations are listed on the site and are able to update their profile so that it’s completely accurate when victims search in their local area. Initially, we have put organisations already funded by Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities on the website as they will have undergone a degree of scrutiny of their services and governance and police services will already be referring victims to them. However, we want every support service in the UK on Victims Choice.
Victims or anyone affected by crime are able to search for services according to a number of criteria. They can search via town or postcode, or via the provider’s name, and can also narrow the search by crime type (domestic violence, road victims, homicide, etc.)
Victims will also be able to leave an anonymous review against a service they have used, rating it on a number of indicators and are able to leave some commentary about the support they’ve received.
The website is moderated to ensure that only genuine reviews are uploaded to the website and robots and malicious reviews are also excluded. If a review appears that might be less than positive about an organisation, they will have the ability to post a response. Any reviews of concern will be flagged and where the concern persist will be escalated to a senior member of staff or, if appropriate, to our Safeguarding officer.