New partnership to help support victims of crime in London

A new partnership is expected to strengthen supports for victims and survivors of crime and tragic circumstance in the City of London.

Victim Services of Middlesex-London, previously Victim Services of Middlesex County and London Police Service are partnering for the initiative.

“The London Police Service looks forward to working collaboratively with Victim Services Middlesex-London to strengthen supports and services to victims of crime and tragedy in our communities,” said Chief John Pare in a news release. “We would like to thank the Government of Ontario for their support of this partnership.”

VSML is a not-for-profit, registered charitable organization. Victim Services of Middlesex is managed by a community Board of Directors. VSMC has been operational since 1998 servicing the County of Middlesex, and other areas and police services surrounding the City of London.

Starting Feb. 1, VSML extended its victim support outreach to London.

A new central office will be located within London Police Service Headquarters.

The new program will work collaboratively with many units of the LPS and is expected to serve over 7,000 victims annually.  

The innovative partnership and program facilities will serve as an enhancement to the services presently being provided by members of the London Police Service’s Crisis Intervention Support Unit (CIVSU). 

CIVSU and VSML will work in partnership to provide both front line and ongoing service to victims and survivors who need support.  

Victim Services funding is primarily provided by the Ontario government, Ministry of the Attorney General, Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO).

With a victim’s consent, police arrange for VCAO staff and/or specially trained responders to provide on-site, short-term assistance to victims, and make referrals to community agencies for long-term assistance.

Victim Services - VCAO responders receive in-depth and comprehensive training and provide support to victims of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, stalking/harassment, elder abuse, suicide, property crime, sudden death, motor vehicle collision, fire, human trafficking and natural disaster.

Crisis intervention services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the request of the police.

The new expanded program is in need of new volunteers.

For more information, contact Victim Services of Middlesex-London at 519-661-5636 or visit www.vsmiddlesex.org.