More crime victims seek help

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More and more people affected by crime in East Dunbartonshire are coming forward for help from the area’s Victim Support scheme.

The surge in numbers has resulted in a £3,000 funding boost from the council.

This will enable the charity to extend its service to provide more practical and emotional aid to victims.

Ailey Brown from Victim Support said the rise was down to more people being able to access the help they need.

She told the Herald: “I wouldn’t say the numbers are rising because crime has necessarily gone up. I would say more people are now able to benefit from the service.

“We now have a much better relationship with the police and work in partnership with them through an approved referral service.

“We have the availability to contact more victims and give more help to people.”

The Victim Support service is based at Kirkintilloch Police Office and generally opens from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Ailey said: “We are generally able to contact victims of crime between 24 and 48 hours with practical and emotional help.”

Victim Support has 10 experienced volunteers at the moment who can also make home visits to victims.

Ailey explained: “We work out what people’s needs are on an individual basis. Sometimes that means a home visit.

“And if we can’t meet the person’s needs, we can refer them to a more specialised service.”

A crime doesn’t have to be reported to police before help is sought.

Ailey said: “Very often domestic abuse is not reported to the police.

“We can provide private and confidential 
support to victims and we won’t press them to report what’s happened to the police.”

Victim Support also receives referrals from social work, GPs, health workers, and relatives of victims.

It can provide support at court for victims and witnesses, and can give updates on progress of specific cases.

The charity can also assist with information about criminal injuries compensation applications and provide help with insurance claims.

To find out more, call Victim Support on 0141 776 8139.