Victim Services of Middlesex County will now be serving London as well.
The London Police Service’s Crisis Intervention Support Unit (CIVSU) has formed an agreement with Victim Services of Middlesex County to strengthen local victim outreach efforts.
Brad Thompson, the Executive Director of Victim Services of what is now Middlesex London, is just starting to break in his new office at London Police Headquarters on Dundas Street.
“The London Police have been performing victim services for a lot of years through their family consultants,” explains Thompson.
“That area has decreased in size over the years, and they felt a greater need to perform better services for the victims of crime in the city of London, so they requested that we look at bringing those services here.”
Victim Services of Middlesex-London is a registered charity with a volunteer staff of around 80 members. The not-for-profit has operated solely in Middlesex County within the jurisdictions of the Ontario Provincial Police and Strathroy-Caradoc Police Service since 1998.
Now that they’re serving London as well, Thompson expects things to be a lot busier.
“Historically, we’ve had 1,000 calls per year, so based on London city’s crime stats we’re expecting we could be upwards of 7,000 calls a year,” he says.
“We’re actively seeking and have had a lot of volunteers put in applications recently which is great to see, and we’re going to double the size of the volunteer pool that we utilize to go out to calls.”
Right upstairs from Brad Thompson’s new office is Sandasha Bough, the Media Relations Officer at the London Police Service. She stresses how the merger will be effective in supporting victims of crime.
“Counselling services will be available at the scene of an incident, and followup counselling can also be provided at a later date and time convenient for that particular victim,” she says.
“Referrals will also be provided to other community partners to assist victims with specific needs if that victim chooses.”
While Brad Thompson knows he’ll have his hands full moving forwards, he’s wasting no time getting started.
“We are excited to be here; it was nice to be recognized as a victim services organization that was successful in the county,” he explains.
“London Police came to us and asked us to come into the city, which was a very unexpected but pleasant surprise.”
The London Police Service and Victims Services of Middlesex County have been doing their part to serve victims in the community for years. Now, they’ll be doing it together.