Support network for ASBO victims hopes for expansion

Hackney Victim Support appointed officer helps those suffering from abuse. Pic: Victim Support

Hackney Victim Support appointed officer helps those suffering from abuse. Pic: Victim Support

A support network for anti-social behaviour victims has revealed its intention to provide more officers in Hackney after receiving positive feedback on its initial work in the borough.

Hackney has had a council-funded officer providing support to ASB victims since September 2013, but due to the success of the project, the network could be about to grow further.

Officers employed by Victim Support UK usually work with victims of crime, who are referred by the police or other agencies to receive support and advocacy services during court procedures.

A spokesperson for Victim Support UK said: “Even though there has been as many as 30 to 40 people helped out within this year, their journey only continues from there as many people suffering from ASB are scared to call.

“We plan to focus more officers on Hackney, hopefully one day having more than one in each area to tend to the victims needs”.

Victims can self-refer by simply calling the Victims Support helpline or other people, such as neighbours and friends, can refer people they believe may benefit from speaking to an officer.

The support on offer ranges from everything such as talking on the phone and home support, to being mentioned in weekly meetings with other members of the victim support group in order to improve situations and respond to them more swiftly.

A Hackney resident who has been subjected to ASB for five years said what she valued most was having the support of someone different than a friend or family member.

“It can be confusing because there can be many different organizations and agencies involved, its good to have someone I can go to with questions and queries,” said the resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

Hackney’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sophie Linden, also gave her support for the project as she stressed the importance of victims knowing that the council is there to support them.

She added: “Victims can often feel as though they are forgotten about. Working with Victim Support in this way ensures that victims are supported and their needs are also considered.

“The team tell us that even if the victims turn down the offer of support, they are grateful of the offer; it makes them feel that someone cares.”

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