Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Sex assault victim centre to open

A new sexual assault referral centre is to be set up in Cambridgeshire, Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said.

Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) provide victims of sexual assaults with the chance to make a statement and give evidence anonymously on one site.

Victims of sexual assaults often have to go to different places, such as hospitals and police stations, in order to report the crime and have treatment.

The government is providing 75,000 for the new centre in Peterborough.

Providing support

There are 24 SARCs in England and Wales.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: "Rape is a horrific crime and I am determined to ensure that every victim has immediate access to the services and support they need.

"These centres not only improve the support we provide for victims but also encourage these crimes to be reported to the police.

"The expert medical advice available on site and the forensic examinations are vital in bringing offenders to justice."

The government aims to have a SARC in every police force area by 2011.

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