Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery is backing a campaign calling on the government to rethink plans that he fears could leave victims of crime or anti-social behaviour worse off.
The charity Victim Support offers help to a million people affected by crime every year, but it is worried that proposals to give new police commissioners full control of their own budgets could undo much of its good work.
It estimates that Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke’s proposals will lead to millions of pounds being wasted on red tape, leading to an estimated £21m less being spent on support victims of crime and court case witnesses.
Mr Lavery, pictured, shares that concern, saying: “Victim Support volunteers do an invaluable job in areas like Wansbeck, and we need to do everything we can to ensure that anyone affected by crime in any way gets the vital support they need and deserve.
“I know from talking to people from my own constituency, that being a victim of crime either personally or by witnessing a criminal incident, can be a very traumatic experience and that Victim Support volunteers do an invaluable job in helping many people recover from what has happened to them.
“We need to do whatever we can to persuade the government to re-think its proposals.”
“It makes no sense to reinvent the wheel by asking the police and crime commissioners to purchase services for victims – a job that Victim Support has been doing very successfully for 40 years.”