Parliamentary Question on 8 September 2014
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs regarding the Victim Care Cadre (VCC) programme which trains members of the public as victim care officers to provide direct moral support to victims of rape (a) when did the programme start; (b) what are the selection criteria for VCCs and whether these include personnel from groups that are already providing victim care support; (c) what kind of training have the VCCs undergone; (d) to date, how many VCCs have been trained and certified; (e) how many victims have received support from VCCs; (f) whether all victims of serious sexual crimes who make police reports are assigned VCCs; and (g) whether VCCs are allowed to accompany victims through all medical examinations , police interviews and court processes and, if not, whether they can be so allowed.
Mr Teo Chee Hean (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs): The Police have implemented the Victim Care Cadre (VCC) pilot project in June 2014 to provide care services to victims of serious sexual crimes. It offers an additional avenue of help to victims, and complements the Child Protection Service programme offered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development. The Police also work closely with the Ministry of Education, the National Crime Prevention Council, crisis support groups and medical social workers to provide additional victim care.
VCC volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, possess relevant qualifications and experience in counselling, psychology and/or social work. Suitable candidates are required to undergo a training programme conducted by trained psychologists. To date, 15 volunteers have been appointed under the VCC programme.
Upon activation by the Police, the appointed volunteer will respond to the assigned victim, providing emotional and other support according to the needs of the victim. The consent of the victim is required before a volunteer is assigned. Appointed volunteers are not allowed to sit in during Police interviews to ensure proper conduct of the interviews and for confidentiality reason.
Police will be evaluating the VCC pilot project in June 2015 upon completion of the 1-year trial.