TELEPHONE HOTLINE WELCOMED, BUT CAN NOT REPLACE SERVICES

TELEPHONE HOTLINE WELCOMED, BUT CAN NOT REPLACE SERVICES

26 may 2010

A new telephone hotline service which offers assistance to victims of crime will benefit rural residents but should not replace on the ground services, the Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George said today.

Mr George said the hotline launched by the NSW Attorney General last month will provide welcome support and advice to victims of crime, but could fail when it comes to referring clients to their nearest service.

“Help lines are generally an added level of support to rural residents who may not have direct access to advice or support.

“However, like we have seen with advice lines in the past, those needing referral to their closest face-to-face service still are no better off.

“Given the detrimental affects of crime on its victims, the need for on-the-ground support services still remains great and this hotline can in no way, replace the service offered by these face-to-face, not-for-profit community organisations.”

Mr George said he welcomes any intuitive that aims to improve isolation from services for rural residents and assists victims of crime.

“The hotline works as a confidential, 24-hour, first point of call for victims.

“It supports callers needs by offering information about counseling services, compensation applications, victim impact statements, complaints about breaches of Charter of Victims Rights and information about court advocacy services.

“For rural residents, this service will make it much easier to get the initial advice and referral to the most appropriate services in line with each victim’s needs.”

Mr George said the freecall information line for victims of crime is 1800 633063 and more information regarding the service available online at www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/vs.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577