VICTIMS Support, the charity that provides help and support for victims and witnesses of crime, has been awarded a contract to provide mediation services to young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation or entrenched community tension.

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: "I am delighted that Victim Support will be providing these services to the vulnerable young people of Cheshire.

“We will test whether this approach is successful over the next year by working with 48 cases across the county.

"The aim is to stop repeat victimisation before it escalates and if it is successful, I will look at working on more cases in the following year."

The contract, worth £26,000 was funded from the commissioners capability and capacity building fund which was transferred to police and crime commissioners by the Ministry of Justice last year.

Andy Hall, divisional manager of Merseyside & Cheshire Victim Support said: "It is a great opportunity for Victim Support to be awarded the mediation contract and we look forward to supporting more people in Cheshire.

“We know from experience that some situations which result in crimes could have been averted by early intervention and mediations. With this service, we are trying to stop victimisation before it happens."