Computer glitches put victims of crime at risk of missing out on vital support.
Problems with Sussex Police’s new Niche computer system meant some victims’ phone numbers and addresses were not passed to the charity Victim Support (VS). VS workers and police scrambled to track down victims and fix the computer system, which first hit glitches when it was introduced last May.
Maralyn Smith, VS divisional manager for Surrey and Sussex, said a task force to resolve the issue finished its work late last month. She said: “The issues arose when Sussex Police moved to a new IT system – Niche. This caused a problem with data coming to Victim Support, thus causing concerns over contact with victims of crime.”
She added: “Victim Support put additional staff in place to contact all victims.
“The task group has now completed the work and repaired all data coming across to Victim Support and our usual service is resumed.”
Police discussed the problem with Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne in May, after Mrs Bourne said VS was concerned about a drop in referrals.
Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney described a “perfect storm” starting in 2013 when problems with Niche coincided with a new computer system at VS.
She added: “I can assure you that the people who need the support from Victim Support, their details will be passed on.”
Sussex Police said a large amount of work had been done to resolve the issues.
A spokeswoman added: “During the resolution of the problem, a manual fix was carried out whereby call takers manually referred victims’ details to Victim Support, to ensure victims continued to have access to the help they need. “A team has been working really hard to resolve the issue and that victims who most need support are contacted.”