How a major enquiry shaped the future of victim care in Bedfordshire


A new sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for Bedfordshire has been heralded as a centre of excellence in the provision of facilities for victims of rape and sexual assault.

A standalone, purpose-designed facility, it contains two state-of-the art, fully equipped forensic examination suites which, while being technically compliant, are designed to put victims at ease by having a less clinical ambience than a hospital or medical centre. The centre also boasts tailored facilities for adults, teens and children, and working spaces for SARC staff and police officers.

But roll the clock back three decades and you’d see a very different landscape in the investigation of such cases, and in victim care.

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Safeguarding the most vulnerable is our number one priority at any time of the year

I work in the Emerald team, investigating domestic abuse and sexual offences. This time of year, we’ll often see a spike in reporting that carries on through into January, as it’s sometimes a difficult season for individuals, or families, already living with domestic abuse.  Incidences of sexual offences also see a increase at this time of year.

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