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Dewberry House relocation planning application

29 June 2023

The Justice and Home Affairs Department have submitted a planning application to relocate Dewberry House and develop a new Victim Advocacy Centre. 

The proposed building will provide a range of help and support in one location, rather than victims having to go to various locations for different services. They will be able to receive the care, support and help they need in one safe, modern and effective space, where they only have to tell their story once. 

The current building, which was occupied in 2017, as Jersey’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), is no longer fit for purpose and does not have the capacity for the Island's needs. The service has expanded over the years and has become a centre for all types of victims who have been impacted by crime. Therefore, relocating Dewberry House is essential to meet the needs of children and adults in our community. The centre will be home to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Jersey Victims First, and Jersey Domestic and Sexual Abuse Support. The child part of the centre will follow the Barnahaus ‘Child House’ model. 

The new centre will provide the following key support for victims of crime: 

  • A space designed specifically for children to make criminal justice processes child friendly and appropriate for their needs 
  • Access to forensic medical care and health advocacy for adults and children 
  • Therapeutic interventions – being a victim of crime is hard to process and the centre will provide help to those that are dealing with trauma and give them the skills to support them for as long as is needed 
  • Criminal justice support and advocacy – the team from Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisors (IDVAs/ISVAs) for children, young persons and adults who will provide support through Jersey’s Criminal Justice System, including giving evidence to court which can be done remotely from Dewberry House for vulnerable adults and children 
  • Dedicated talking rooms where victims can speak to the States of Jersey Police in video recorded interviews about what has happened to them 

The planned relocation for the centre is to be at a site on the junction of Bagatelle Road and Bagatelle Lane, following extensive research and working closely with support services, community groups, professionals and has the full support of the Adult Survivors Network. The site has been carefully chosen to ensure that it is easily accessible to those who need it most and allows greater privacy which is particularly important for victims.

Deputy Helen Miles, Minister for Home Affairs, commented: “The relocation of Dewberry House provides Jersey with a bespoke facility which will ensure victims are at the heart of Jersey’s Criminal Justice System and allows them to access proper support in one safe space and to help their journey of healing. This building is being funded from Criminal Confiscation Funds which we feel is restorative for victims.” 

Laura Osmand, Service Manager at Dewberry House SARC and Victims First Jersey, said: “Over the years we have seen positive investment into services for Victims and Witnesses of Crime in Jersey. Services are constantly advocating to ensure that the standards of care are being met under the Victim and Witness Charter. Having a new building which is going to bring many professional services together will ensure that victims and witnesses receive the right care at the right time in a way that meets their individual needs.” 

Tim Daniels, Director for Jersey Property Holdings, added: “This is an excellent example of the Property team in the Infrastructure and Environment Department working across government to ensure that publicly owned land is optimised. By working with both the Justice and Home Affairs and the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Departments a crucial facility can be delivered to support victims at their most vulnerable.“

Information will be provided to nearby residents of the site and the project team are holding an information evening for St Saviour parishioners at the Parish Hall in July, with a pop-up open day for victims, interested parties, professionals and general members of the public to be announced at a future date.

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