CHESHIRE’s PCC has called for a county-wide service to help young people victims of crime, following the success of a project in Halton.

The Got Your Back scheme, which offers support to crime victims under 18, has helped 18 young people since the start of 2019 across Runcorn.

Young crime victims get one-to-one support and follow a personalised plan to help them come to terms with their experiences, regain confidence and feel safe.

Cheshire PCC David Keane said: “A review by my office identified that victims of crime under the age of 18 are currently under-represented in regard to victim services available in Cheshire, so I’m pleased that we’ve got a specific service supporting young victims in Halton.

“I’d like to see similar services rolled-out across the whole of Cheshire to ensure our young people have access to the right support if they have been a victim of crime.”

The service is available for young crime victims even if they have not reported the crime to the police.

Referrals come via the police and partner agencies, and young people can also reach out for support via social media.

The Got Your Back scheme also works to fight hate crime in Halton and has delivered workshops on the issue to more than 550 young people.

Mr Keane said: “It’s fantastic to see the difference Got Your Back is already making to young people.

“Hate crime is an abhorrent crime which has no place in our communities and it’s important that we work with young people to help them understand what constitutes a hate crime and how to report it.”

In July 2018 , 108 hate crimes were reported by young people across Runcorn and Widnes.

The Got Your Back service is delivered by charity Remedi and funded by the Commissioner’s Supporting Victims Fund, which funds projects which specifically supports crime victims under 18.

Remedi manager Lisa Gill said: “Remedi is delighted to bring this much-needed support service to Halton. The Got Your Back service is extremely successful in other areas of the country to help young people feel safe and move on from a crime that has been committed against them.”

She added that while they are pleased to receive referrals from their partner agencies and calls from concerned parents, they are welcoming young people in Halton who have experienced a crime to contact them for free on 0800 640 6466.