Funding cuts for bereaved slammed

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Jane Kennedy: Merseyside PCC ©Twitter/@Jane4merseyside

Jane Kennedy: Merseyside PCC © Twitter/@Jane4merseyside

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, has spoken out against government plans to only fund support for those families whose loved ones have been murdered or killed after April 2010.

Ms Kennedy described the news as “shockingly cruel cuts” by central government after it was revealed at a general meeting of Police and Crime Commissioners this week that families could only access the services if they were affected in the last four years.

This meeting took place after the cuts were highlighted by charity Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA) UK.

Last October, the Government announced funding for some victim support would be handed to the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), but the funding for those affected by homicide would still be provided through a National Homicide Service.

Kennedy said: “This is a cruel decision by the government that will leave families without the support and funding they deserve.

“I urge ministers to reconsider this decision and I will be speaking to my colleagues around the country to ask them to support me in demanding central government supports all families affected by murder and manslaughter.”

The Government currently provides a budget of £250,000 to a collection of small-to-medium sized organisations which provide support services to victims anywhere in the country.

Other support groups such as Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) Merseyside and the National Victims Association and Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) have joined together with MAMAA UK to urge MPs and PCCs to support their call for governments to continue with the current funding.

Chairperson for MAMMAA UK, Amanda Everitt, said: “We are deeply concerned by the coalition’s decision to cut all funding for support for those bereaved by homicide pre-April 2010.

“The cost implications of not adequately supporting a vulnerable victim are far greater than the £250,000 this cut will save. We urge government to rethink this plan.”

About Lisa Jones, JMU Journalism