New unit set up to help victims of rape and serious sexual assault

VICTIMS of rape and serious sexual assault in Staffordshire will receive extra, specialist support after a new investigation team was set up.

The Staffordshire Police RASSO (Rape and Serious Sexual Offences) unit will allow detectives to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to improve outcomes for victims whilst also ensuring partner agencies and charities are involved in supporting those at risk.

Detective Inspector Bev Matthews is helping lead the new unit. She says: “The aims are to improve the service to victims and the most vulnerable in our community by having a dedicated team of detectives who will be qualified to a high level to investigate those types of offences. They’ll ultimately be trying to bring more offenders to justice.

“Historically, Staffordshire’s been excellent at achieving convictions once cases do get to court but where we can improve is by getting more cases to court or achieving whatever the wishes of the victims are – whatever is a good outcome for them essentially.

“We hope that victims will have the confidence to come forward, report more cases to us and to know they’re going to be believed, taken seriously and the finest officers are going to be investigating their crimes.

“To victims - I’d say have confidence in us, come forward, tell us what happened, don’t be afraid – we can support you step by step through the investigations, from initial court report and all the way through the court case. We’ll listen to how you want to progress, if it’s not the right time for you then we can offer advice and signpost to partners and other charities but do come and talk to us.”

The RASSO unit is in force from today (Monday, October 5).


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