VICTIMS of crime are being given greater support by the police with the appointment of a dedicated support officer.

Natalie Steadman has been appointed to make sure victims of crime get the help they need.

Ms Steadman will lead a small team which will introduce changes to how the force assists crime victims.

Assistant Chief Constables Dave Hayler said: “We want to take a new look at how victims interact with the criminal justice system to make sure their experience is a seamless and supportive one.

“This will include an honest, comprehensive look at what we do now and how we can work better with our partners, both within the criminal justice services and beyond to improve what we offer victims in the future. Fundamentally, it's about ensuring victims are properly supported and treated.”

“Natalie's role, along with a small team, is to place victims at the heart of what we do, implement a new victim referral system, and deliver a joint approach with all Avon and Somerset Constabulary's Criminal Justice Services, our partners and the local/unitary authorities.”

Ms Steadman said: “The role of victims within the criminal justice process is something I feel strongly about and I'm excited to be given the chance to help shape their experience. My priority will be to understand the gaps in the service we currently provide and look at what we can do better.”