Published 30 June 2020

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Matthew Scott has awarded almost £700,000 in grants to services which help victims of crime.

The money is to help keep local charities financially stable after much of their normal fundraising work was curtailed by Covid-19. It will also help them run additional support programmes for victims of domestic abuse – a crime type which increased as more families spent more time at home during lockdown.

David Naylor from Victim Support said: ‘This funding has come at a crucial time. At Victim Support, we are supporting growing numbers of domestic abuse and sexual violence victims to cope and recover from experiences of crime since lockdown. As restrictions lift, we anticipate that even more people will reach out for practical and emotional help.

‘With these additional funds, we will be able to continue providing remote support to victims of crime for as long as it is needed. We have already rolled out 24/7 Live Chat on the Victim Support website, and this funding allows us to continue delivering tailored and innovative support online. Although this funding has come as a result of Covid-19, this funding will leave a legacy long after lockdown restrictions lift.’

More than £640,000 of the total grants awarded came from money made available to the Police and Crime Commissioner by the Ministry of Justice. This money was specifically for groups who support domestic abuse and sexual violence victims.

But Mr Scott, recognising that smaller local services like Dads Unlimited and Rubicon Cares were struggling too, also provided a further £52,000 from his own annual commissioning budget.

Across the two funds, Victim Support received £93,062.33 from the total £693,036.36 awarded.

Mr Scott said: ‘As lockdown has begun to ease we have already seen more victims of domestic abuse coming forward to seek help. I asked the Chief Constable about this at my most recent Performance and Delivery Board meeting and I am confident that Kent Police is ready to meet that demand, but it is vital that the additional support local charities provide is also available.

‘I am grateful to the Government for releasing extra funding to help domestic support and sexual violence charities, but I wanted to do my bit for other projects too.’

Both funding streams require the recipients to regularly update Mr Scott’s office on the progress of their projects, so he can ensure taxpayer’s money is being spent wisely.