Year of Beacon launched as 250,000 people supported by Herts victim care centre
A ‘Year of Beacon’ has been launched to celebrate Hertfordshire’s victim care service centre supporting over 250,000 people.

As 2020 marks the fifth anniversary since the creation of the organisation a series of events will celebrate the work it undertakes.

Since it was created by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd in April 2015 Beacon has contacted 6,000 victims of crime a month to offer information, support and assistance.

Those helped have ranged from age four to 97 and includes people who have not reported crimes to police.

Based at Hertfordshire Police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Beacon was established as a ground-breaking hybrid model.


Mr Lloyd at Beacon at Police HQ

Supporting victims of crime is a legal police responsibility, which in most parts of the country is either run by a police officer team or outsourced to an external charity.

But Mr Lloyd decided a more comprehensive hybrid system would best serve victims and he created the Beacon victim service centre.

It is staffed by 16 police officers and staff, including three sergeants in the Victim Service Team who contact every person in the county who have reported an offence.

Those effected by high harm crimes, are vulnerable or require additional support are then referred to one of 15 professional case managers from the charity Catch 22.

Mr Lloyd said: “Beacon is a flagship victim service centre. Here in Hertfordshire we have one of the largest teams of victims service professionals all sat in in one room, in the country.


A picture drawn by one of Beacon's youngest clients.

“Beacon represents an annual investment of £1m which is purely dedicated to provide support for everything from antisocial behaviour to those affected by serious sexual assaults and murder.

“Historically victims support was often run by volunteers but our model is staffed by professionals working to a service delivery programme that has provided evidence of positives outcomes.

“It is light years away from the traditional idea that victims are only offered sympathy with a cup of tea and slice of cake.

“Our case workers advocating on their clients behalf, for example going along to their banks with them if they have been victims of fraud. Very few victim services in England and Wales provide that level of support.

“The professionalism of the unit has been raised, as they are all in the same office it works seamlessly with the constabulary. The workers have access to the investigation to provide updates to the victims.”


Mr Lloyd meeting HRH Princess Anne, the patron of Catch-22 who help run Beacon.

The service is funded by an annual £1.5m grant from Ministry of Justice, which comes from the Victims Surcharge imposed following fines and court cases. One of the roles of Police and Crime Commissioners is to use it to organise and provide provision for victims.

Since it was created Beacon has contacted to 291,000 residents. Those in need are provided with a case worker who draws up a support plan. This includes safety planning, preventing re-victimisation, plus financially and medical assistance.

They can arrange for target hardening using the Herts Home Safety Service to prevent re-victimisation.

The average case worker works with a client for three months. By the end of the process 87 per cent of victims feel safer and more informed.

One of their youngest clients was a little boy who had witnessed abusive behaviour. He drew a ‘sad volcano’ as he felt he ‘was going to explode’. Following intervention from the Beacon team the situation was resolved and he then described himself as a ‘happy volcano’.


Beacon is staffed by Victim Service Team each day 8am – 8pm, in addition, Catch22 employees work Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm & Saturday 9am – 5pm. By phone: 0300 011 55 55 by email beacconvictimcare@herts.pnn.police.uk or info@hertfordshirebeacon.org

Their website is http://www.hertfordshirebeacon.org/