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Rape referral centre for York


7:42am 2nd August 2011

North Yorkshire Police are pleased to announce that plans have been approved to develop and improve services for victims of rape and sexual assault.

North Yorkshire Police Authority , gave the go ahead for the existing services at York to be further developed to provide some of the services required for a Sexual Assault Referral Centre. 

For victims in other parts of the county, who may experience difficulties in accessing the facilities at York, existing arrangements will be enhanced by seeking to arrange access to other SARC services in neighbouring counties.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Raw, North Yorkshire Police’s Head of Major and Specialist Crime, described the development as a major step forward in the care for victims of rape and sexual assault.

He said:

“We are very pleased that funding has been made available to provide more support and services for victims of one of the most traumatic and distressing of crimes.

“Our medical suite in Bishopthorpe, York, has recently been upgraded with the help of a Home Office grant, and the force has also developed a pool of Specially Trained Officers. These improvements, together with the approval to develop and expand our existing services, means we are on track to achieving our ultimate aim of providing SARC services.

“Over the next six to twelve months, work will be underway with our partners to develop these  plans, which include the recruitment of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, a SARC manager and crisis workers.”

The total cost for this provision is £196,525. However, part of this cost is funded already through existing services provided by North Yorkshire Police, which means the additional cost to the force will amount to £126,775.

In addition, North Yorkshire Police and NHS North Yorkshire and York will be working together to review the accessibility, reach and scope of services available for victims.

A spokeswoman for NHS York and North Yorkshire said:

"Over the next eight months, a comprehensive consultation process will take place, involving victims, GPs, NHS Trusts, Social Services, Family Planning Clinics, crime reduction and public health groups, charities and voluntary organisations.

"The review will lead to the creation of a strategic blueprint which will ensure that services continue to meet the needs of victims of rape and sexual assault.

"This project will be funded by the Department of Health through the Strategic Health Authority."

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