Victim Support launches volunteering initiative to help victims of antisocial behaviour in Birmingham
Published: 01 November 2012
- 02 November 2012
Birmingham Residents Antisocial behaviour Victim Empowerment Project (BRAVE)
Victim Support has today (Friday 2 November) launched a new and innovative volunteering initiative to help victims of persistent antisocial behaviour in Birmingham. The initiative is part the charity's existing Birmingham Residents Antisocial Behaviour Victim Empowerment Project (BRAVE).
Under the scheme, Victim Support will work to recruit and train local people that it has helped to cope and recover from persistent antisocial behaviour to work as volunteers. These volunteers will then use their knowledge and experience to help future victims of similar crimes.
The BRAVE project has been bringing together Victim Support, the police and community safety teams, local housing and voluntary agencies, and Birmingham City Council to support people experiencing antisocial behaviour in the city since March this year. The project is managed by Victim Support and funded by the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.
During 2010/11 there were 55,033 cases of antisocial behaviour recorded by West Midlands Police. In 2011/12 this figure fell by 23 per cent to 42,226.
Despite the fall in reported crimes in the region, all the organisations involved in BRAVE argue that more has to be done to help people who are suffering from persistent antisocial behaviour, and to increase any under reporting.
The new volunteers recruited by Victim Support will be managed by local organisations such as housing associations or other charities in the future.
Alessandra, a victim of persistent antisocial behaviour from Birmingham, who received help from BRAVE said: "I was harassed by my neighbour for more than a year. He shouted at all hours of the day and night, played loud music and banged on the walls. He even threatened my life after he got drunk. I was scared to go out.
"But, my BRAVE project officer was my rock. When she said she would do something for me she always followed through. I totally trusted her. Now I'm thinking about volunteering to help other people in my neighbourhood who are also suffering from similar crimes."
Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Victim Support said: "Antisocial behaviour wrecks lives and communities. Using the skills and understanding of local victims who have recovered from it is an innovative way of helping, and could lead to more people reporting antisocial behaviour rather than suffering in silence.
"If you are interested in volunteering for BRAVE or are a victim of persistent antisocial behaviour, please contact us now on 0121 236 3919."