The impact of local commissioning on victim services in England and Wales: An empirical study

This paper follows on from earlier work in which I discussed the potential impacts of the local commissioning of victim services by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales. The introduction of this elected role and the devolution of responsibility to local PCCs was said to raise a...

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Published in:International review of victimology
Main Author: Simmonds, Lesley (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:International review of victimology
Year: 2019, Volume: 25, Issue: 2, Pages: 181-199
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:This paper follows on from earlier work in which I discussed the potential impacts of the local commissioning of victim services by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales. The introduction of this elected role and the devolution of responsibility to local PCCs was said to raise a range of issues for both victims and the voluntary sector, given that agencies within this sector are major providers of support for those affected by crime. Before 2014 the approach to the funding of victim services was not particularly of concern, save for questions being asked in the ‘audit culture' of the early 2000s, around the extent to which the government-funded agency Victim Support could be said to be providing ‘value for money'. However, these concerns gained momentum with the incoming Coalition government of 2010, and by 2014 local commissioning by PCCs had been implemented. This meant the previous mixed economy of victim services provision via the largely centrally funded organisation ‘Victim Support' as a ‘national victims' service', and an array of smaller and more financially independent victim agencies who had to bid for pots of funding much more competitively, has given way to the political appeal of a free market for all. In order then to explore the reality of this shift, a piece of empirical research was undertaken with voluntary-sector agencies in the far southwest of England. Essentially the research provides evidence that the issues raised in my earlier work have indeed come to fruition.
ISSN:2047-9433
DOI:10.1177/0269758018787938