VOLUNTEER SHORTAGE ‘SERIOUSLY AFFECTING’ SERVICES FOR
VICTIMS, SAYS LOCAL CRIME CHARITY
Merseyside says falling volunteer numbers could soon lead to a
reduced service for victims and witnesses of crime in Merseyside.
Our Team Leaders based in Anfield,
Allerton, Bootle, St. Helen’s, Kirkby, Southport and on the Wirral,
who all lead a team of staff and volunteers as well as the local
Central Office, based in the West Everton Community Centre, are
launching an appeal and we must recruit as many volunteers as we can
to continue to provide help and information to local people.
“We’re faced with a real shortage, and we’re concerned that this
could seriously affect our service for victims and witnesses. Our
work is very important, so we want to get more people involved at
Victim Support. Last year alone, our staff and volunteers have
helped over 50,000 people cope with the effects of crime.”
says Deputy Chief Executive, Gillian McKinnon.
Volunteers offer emotional support, information and practical help
to victims of crime, whether or not they have reported the crime to
the police and regardless of when it happened. Nationally, Victim
Support’s local branches in England and Wales offer their free and
confidential services to around 1.4 million people every year.
“Training is provided and the work is very varied, rewarding and
sometimes stressful, so we want to hear from people who are
non-judgmental, patient and understanding. We’re very keen to hear
from people of all ages and backgrounds who would like to join the
team.” says Deputy Chief Executive, Gillian McKinnon.
Anyone interested in volunteering for Victim Support Merseyside is
asked to call Central Administration on 0151 298 2848 for more
Letters to editor:- "The public interest should have no price
"ON 11 April
2007, the servicemen who told rather than sold the story of their
incarceration in Iran have more integrity than Defence Minister Des
Browne, now desperately trying to hold back the floodgates against
Fleet Street can't.
If Vice-Admiral Adrian John was prepared to capitulate at the mere
sight of a sea of Fleet Street cheque books, and the Defence
Minister lacked the courage to intervene, it is small wonder that
pundits from Teesside to Tehran are having a field day at their
The public interest may be served by allowing service personnel to
tell their story outside the confines of stage-managed media events
(in Iran and the UK) but when they do it for money their motive
become as suspect as those of their superiors. If information is
genuinely in the public interest it should have no price-tag. Buying
an ‘exclusive’ is the antithesis of press freedom.
The motives of the media are transparent at least: milking the most
of every opportunity to make money – even if that does include
turning on anyone willing to pocket their offers of cash for
confessions, or firing off salvos against anyone who challenges
Murdoch’s Times (10/4/07) rails against this ‘sanctioning (of)
sensationalism’, for example, while its sister paper The Sun
titillates readers with a tawdry front page splash: ‘Faye: My Ordeal
- I feared being raped by Iranians… stripped to knickers in a dingy
This may be just another PR fiasco among many that have littered the
Bush/Blair adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it also signals
abroad the extent to which the media in the UK now exert an
influence over public polity. Political leaders have demonstrated a
craven willingness to pander to the media for cheap electoral
advantage, so their criticisms are scorned.
And at the heart of the matter is the dominance of the cheque-book.
In the media marketplace, anyone and everyone now has their price –
from disgraced Cabinet Ministers to captured marines. A precedent
has been set from which it will be hard to pull back. Having once
bought into such Mephistophelian deals, a new breed of military PR
minders will be needed to ‘control’ the stories that are allowed
out. However you can rest assured that the Official Secrets Act will
still be used as a weapon against journalists who prefer to delve
without the aid of a cash dispenser.
As the marines have quickly learned to their cost, cheque-book
journalism leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Inevitably the highest
bids were to the only woman and the youngest man, and some cash
offers have been withdrawn. Now watch for rubbishing stories in
rival newspapers from colleagues and acquaintances. Meanwhile the
proprietors are laughing all the way to the bank." Mike
Jempson, Director, The MediaWise Trust