Wednesday 17 January 2018

Number of crime victims seeking support soars by 20pc while half callers from Dublin

Ed Carty

The number of victims of crime seeking support jumped by a fifth last year, taking the total to almost 3,000, a report has revealed.

A study of calls to the Crime Victims Helpline in 2010 found the majority of people, about 60pc, required some level of emotional support.

Maeve Ryan, helpline co-ordinator, said the rising number of victims seeking help shows the ongoing need for the service.

"Our volunteers are trained to understand the effects of crime, and to respond to callers with care and empathy," she said.

"Many callers also felt the impact of secondary victimisation, as most people struggle to cope with the complexities of the criminal justice system in the aftermath of becoming a victim of crime.

"Another 27% of callers mainly required information on the justice system and support services for crime victims, and we assisted with these queries."

The most common crimes reported by callers involved assault – 24pc; property-related crime, mostly burglary – 21pc; sexual violence – 14pc; harassment – 10pc; and intimidation – 6pc.

The Crime Victims Helpline report showed that about half of callers were from Dublin.

Judge Gillian Hussey, patron of the Crime Victims Helpline, praised the helpline volunteers.

"We have a great team of volunteers, who provide an excellent service, at no cost to the state. These volunteers attend for training, so that they can provide the service to a required standard and then they work on the helpline and provide a much-valued service," she said.

The National Crime Victims Helpline allows victims of crime to find support and also deals with questions people may have with victims of crime.

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