THE Government has topped up a fund to help victims of crime in Avon and Somerset get back on their feet.

A kitty of £12.5million has been boosted by a £374,717 handout from the Ministry of Justice.

The windfall towards new specialist support services follows a bid by Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

She said: “I have set out a clear vision for victims of crime in Avon and Somerset which involves a joined-up approach to victims’ services and has the voice of victims at its heart.

“We are working on a pioneering new approach to transform services for victims of crime.

“From October, a new one-team approach will provide coordinated, end-to-end care at every stage of a victim’s journey through the criminal justice system.

“I am delighted that we have received this funding and can begin our work making a difference to victims’ lives.”

Victims’ Minister Damian Green said: “Victims of crime need and deserve the best possible support to cope with what they have been through.

“That’s why Government is raising more money than ever before from offenders to fund vital services to help victims move on with their lives.

“The excellent and innovative ideas put forward for this fund show exactly why PCCs are best placed to understand the needs of their local communities and commission the majority of victims’ services. I’ve no doubt they will make a difference to victims up and down the country.”

The Avon and Somerset is built up with additional receipts from offenders through victim surcharges and increased financial penalties for offences such as disorder.