Support for victims of serious sexual assaults
My commitment to support victims of crime and put them at the heart of the criminal justice system remains a key priority in our Police & Crime Plan.
That is why I am delighted that there will soon be more support for victims of serious sexual assaults via a newly established team of Sexual Offence Investigation Trained (SOIT) officers.
The team of 20 staff and officers will be working from locations right across the county, based alongside colleagues in the specialist Safeguarding Investigations Units. They will act as a single point of contact for victims and will be on hand to support victims throughout a criminal investigation: From initial reporting right through to court proceedings and beyond.
The introduction of the SOIT officers has been made possible by the public who supported an uplift in last year’s precept – a large proportion of which went to increase resources in Sussex Police’s Public Protection unit.
These specially trained officers will perform a vital role in terms of case processing, supporting investigation and providing services directly to victims of serious sexual assault.
All victims tell me that what matters the most to them is being kept informed. So it is vital that victims of serious sexual assault receive ongoing communication and that there is a joined up approach from all of those involved – it is only by doing this that we can contribute to a more just outcome.