Headlines: December 13th, 2006



A big city council has launched a pioneering scheme to provide support and services to victims and witnesses of anti-social behaviour. Birmingham City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit is operating the project in partnership with Victim Support West Midlands for an initial 15 months with financial support from the Home Office.

Support from the project will be available to anyone in the city through referral from the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit or the city’s Housing Department. The scheme is the only one of its kind so far and has been designed to help increase the confidence of victims and witnesses going through civil court proceedings by offering support at every stage of the process. It will also work with those victims and witnesses affected by anti-social behaviour in situations where cases are not taken through the courts.

Jim Whorwood, Birmingham’s Cabinet Member for Local Services and Community Safety said it would be an invaluable service to the many Birmingham residents who took a stand against anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods and it would be a welcome step forward to help those affected by anti-social behaviour.

Davina Lytton and Harbinder Mann, newly-appointed project workers with Victim Support in the region said they were delighted to receive funding for a project that would provide a single point of contact for victims and witnesses of anti-social behaviour. It would help to provide a seamless service between the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and Victim Support Midlands.

Victims and witnesses will be able to contact the service in normal office hours and there will be a drop-in facility at the project’s offices for victims and witnesses attending court on a particular day so they can, if necessary, receive more formal services such as counselling.