Evaluation of the Street Crime Initiative: supporting victims and witnesses of street crime: a joined-up approach

2. Funding issues for service providers

Of the 26 surveys sent out, 16 were returned. This was an information gathering exercise to establish what problems Victim Support members experienced in applying for funding. As the sample is small, any reference to the number of specific responses is given as the actual number and not as a percentage.

For those Victim Support Areas or boroughs eligible, initial information about funding was mainly received from the National Office. Other sources of information included the Home Office, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the local authority or through attendance at government meetings.

Half of the respondents received funding from more than one source. Funding sources included the National Association, the Home Office, CAD, crime and disorder partnerships, Safer Communities Fund, DfES Children's Fund, police, and Neighbourhood Renewal Fund. Of the remainder, three were solely funded by the National Association, two by the Home Office, two from CAD, one by their local authority and one by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

The processes involved in getting information about the funding were considered 'very' or 'fairly difficult' by half of the 14 who responded to this question. The initial confusion as to where to apply for funding is probably the main if not the only reason for this experience. Despite the early difficulties, five respondents still felt the process was either 'very' or 'fairly easy'.

Over half the respondents found completing the funding bid to be straightforward, although getting approval was less satisfactory. Three quarters of the 16 respondents thought that the overall process in getting funding could have been improved.

The setting up and early implementation of the service was perceived as 'very' or 'fairly easy' by over half of the respondents. There is, however, a consensus among service providers that the initial funding process was too complex and protracted. This resulted in reduced timescales to prepare proposals and ultimately reduced lifetime for the project. The short-term funding resulted in some projects only running for nine months. With no early indication as to future funding, service providers were unable to put in place an exit strategy or discuss the future sustainability of their project.

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