Beacon is Hertfordshire's Victim Care Centre and is staffed by professionals from both Hertfordshire Constabulary and Catch 22, an independent organisation commissioned to support victims of crime in Hertfordshire. Their primary focus is to help you cope and recover from your ordeal.
What happens after a crime?
If you have reported the crime to the police, you will automatically be contacted by the Victim Service Team who will advise you of:
- your crime reference number
- what happens next
- the services available to you.
The Victims' Code
The Victim’s Code was established by the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and came into effect in 2006. The Code sets out what each criminal justice agency must do for victims and the timeframe in which they must do it.
As part of the Victims’ Code, Beacon staff aim to keep you updated in a way that suits you so you know what is happening with your investigation.
If you have not reported the crime to the police:
Help and support is still available to you. You can contact Beacon on 0300 0115 555.
This service is available to all victims of crime for free, including those who have decided not to report the matter to police, or who have changed their mind about needing support and choose to make contact in the weeks or months after the incident.
Help for young people
Are you under 18 and looking for help and support? Beacon is a free service that helps thousands of young people who have been victims of crime every year, whether or not the crime is reported to the police.
Call 0300 0115 555 and select option 3 (Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and until 8pm on Wednesday)
Any young person can access this service as long as:
- you are under 18 and have been affected by crime
- you are under 13, have been affected by crime and have consent from a parent or guardian
- whether or not the crime has been reported to the police
- even if the crime happened some time ago
Beacon aims to do the following during their work with you:
1. Listen to you
They will listen to you and find out what has happened and how you are feeling, then they can start to work out how they can help to make things easier for you.
2. You will be given a Case Manager
Having a Case Manager means that you will have a familiar person to talk to each time, who knows your situation and is aware of what is happening with your case. They will arrange to meet you, and by talking things through with you, they will work out the best way of giving you support.
3. You will have a safe place to turn to
Asking for support is nothing to be ashamed of; all their Case Managers are specially trained to work with children and young people. Do not be nervous or hold back when sharing information or expressing your feelings, they will have heard similar stories before and are there to help you.
4. Help you understand your rights
Everyone who becomes a victim of a crime, no matter what their age, is protected by a legal document known as the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. This lists everything that should happen from the moment a crime is reported. Your Beacon Case Manager will take you through this code and guide you towards any additional help you could ask for.
5. Help you to access extra support
Beacon Case Managers know the support that is out there for young people and can put you in touch with other organisations that can help. For example, if you need to give evidence in court, they can tell you about the Citizens Advice Witness Service. You may be asked if you would like to consider Restorative Justice, your Case Manager can explain what this is and help you to decide if this is right for you.