Victim support centre revamped

A pioneering initiative was launched yesterday in Great Yarmouth to help the shocking number of young people falling victim to crime in the age of iPods and trendy mobile phones.

A pioneering initiative was launched yesterday in Great Yarmouth to help the shocking number of young people falling victim to crime in the age of iPods and trendy mobile phones.

Victim Support Norfolk has spent more than �20,000 redeveloping its centre in Market Row to create a relaxed “young persons” zone” with bean bags and a television area.

As well as being used for one-to-one interviews and a Wednesday drop-in session, the room will be the venue for creative music workshops designed to boost self-esteem. Young crime victims will continue to be offered activity breaks to Hilltop in Sheringham under an existing project.

The scheme, being led by young victims of crime development officer Kara Shingleton, is the first in the country to be piloted by the Victim Support charity.

Miss Shingleton said: “Young people today do have things people want. In terms of crimes committed by over-25s on young people, they often relate to iPods, phones and other trendy gadgets. Young people are also increasingly carrying a fair bit of money.”

She highlighted Home Office statistics which pointed to 35pc of 10 to 15-year-olds and 24pc of 15 to 25-year-olds falling victim to crimes such as theft, robbery and assault in a year, compared to just 5pc of elderly people.