April 20, 2017 5:08 pm

Victim Services of Middlesex-London to train 150 volunteers to help police

Members of the London Police Services Board discuss the importance of increasing victim services for the community on April 20, 2017.

Carl Garnich/AM980

Victim Services of Middlesex-London is on track to train 150 Londoners to assist police with providing services for victims of crime or tragic circumstances in the community.

The recent partnership has trained over 100 new volunteers and some officers since the beginning of February.

Police Chief John Pare stated that the community is only scratching the surface on the issue.

“When people are faced with some tragic incidents, [it is] really a good support mechanism. Not only for officers that are dealing with complex situations in their lives, but also for members of the community to reach the services they need at the most important time,” Pare said.

The partnership allows both parties to provide:

  • 24/7 on-scene services
  • Early intervention
  • Community support sessions
  • Needs assessments
  • Development of personalized referral forms or service plans
  • Safety planning
  • Follow-up from staff members

  • Story continues below

Under the Victim Quick Response Program, some victims can receive access to counselling as well as community and government support services.

“[This is] dealing with people who are having the worst day of their life,” Mayor Matt Brown said. “To be able to augment the support to them [seven] days a week, it is so important.”

According to officials, work done by victim services has helped with domestic disputes, human trafficking and sudden death investigations.

READ MORE: Over $200K in drugs seized following major drug bust in London

“A 30-minute response time is incredible,” Pare said. “It is a good relief for the officer to be able to concentrate on what they need to.”

London police have employed three full-time specialists in their Crisis Intervention and Victim Support Unit.

According to Pare, officials will monitor staff levels to determine if more specialists are required.

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