Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 12:40 UK

Slough council hires 'victims' champion'

Slough shopping street
The victims' champion will help people through the courts process

A Berkshire council has appointed a dedicated champion for people who have been victims of anti-social behaviour.

Slough Borough Council said it has created the role to encourage more people to come forward and report problems.

James Guthrie was appointed by the council as part of a joint initiative with police to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough.

He will offer support to victims and guide them through the courts system.

'Stronger voice'

Mr Guthrie said: "People who report anti-social behaviour are making a stand and this takes courage, especially if it is someone who lives nearby, and making a formal report to the police or going to court can be daunting.

"I am there to help them through the process, giving them a stronger voice and making sure it gets heard."

Council community safety officer Louise Asby said: "Traditionally the criminal justice system has concentrated on the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour rather than the victim.

"We want to focus more on the victim and supporting them, because without people coming forward and taking action, we cannot help solve their problems."

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