Future of centre secured

The future of the county’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) has been secured until March 2014.

The SARC, known as Millfield House, was opened in November 2004 as a result of a joint initiative between Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Rape Crisis.

The service is now jointly funded and commissioned by Derbyshire Constabulary, NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County, and also Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council. The service is provided by Derbyshire Rape Crisis.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Goacher said: “The SARC is an invaluable asset for the county and victims of sexual offences.

“During the last twelve months, the SARC has dealt with more than 200 victims of sexual assaults via the police and of these, more than 120 medical examinations have been conducted. Several other victims have also self-referred to the service.

“The overall aim of the SARC is to increase the confidence of victims by providing them with a high standard of care and support from dedicated and professional staff.”

Located in mid-Derbyshire, the SARC acts as a central unit to provide care and support for victims of sexual assaults. It is staffed by Derbyshire Rape Crisis who work independently of the police to provide support and counselling to victims both immediately following the incident and also in the longer term.

Victims of crime, both male and female, can contact the SARC directly and then decide whether they make a formal complaint to the police or not. At the SARC, the victims can provide forensic evidence soon after an incident has occurred, and this can be securely stored and used by the police to assist a prosecution if the complainant decides to proceed.