Mayor of London launches first ‘live chat’ service for crime victims

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a new online ‘live chat’ service for victims of crime in the capital who may find it difficult to access support over the phone or in person.

London live chat is the first service of its kind in the UK. It is run by the independent charity, Victim Support (VS) and funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

The text-based London live chat service offers a safe online space for people to talk openly about their experience of crime, providing anonymity and a quick response. The service is free, confidential and staffed by trained support workers, who offer emotional and practical support tailored to people’s needs.

Anyone who has been affected by crime in London, whether or not the crime has been reported to the police, can use the service.

Sadiq Khan, said: “Crime can have a devastating and lasting impact on people’s lives, which is why I am putting the needs of victims at the heart of policing in London. The right support can go a long way in helping people to cope, and recover from painful experiences. This new online service has an important part to play in offering immediate and expert help, especially for people who may find it difficult to speak about their experiences on the phone or in person. I urge anyone who has fallen victim to crime not to suffer in silence, but to get in touch with Victim Support.”

London live chat can be accessed on Victim Support’s website, www.victimsupport.org.uk/livechatlondon; children and young people will have access to the live chat service via the charity’s youth programme website, www.youandco.org.uk/livechatlondon.

Live chat users will be able to type their comments or questions into the designated section and will receive responses almost immediately. The service operates Monday to Friday, from noon-7.30pm.

Bernadette Keane, Director of Services at Victim Support in London, said: “We’ve extended our communication methods to make our support more accessible. Last year in London we supported more than 305,000 people and we plan to help even more people recover from the impact of crime with the addition of the London live chat service.”

For more information on how to get support, visit www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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