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Kent (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with Kent police regarding its decision to close the sexual assault referral centre based at Darent Valley hospital. (91590)

Home Office officials attended a meeting with the police, representatives from the hospital and forensic medical examiners from Kent in May this year, to discuss the future of the Darent Valley Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). They advised those present that the SARC model provides the highest level of support for victims of sexual violence. It was on this basis that a start-up grant of £30,000 was provided by the Home Office to Kent police in 2003-04. The ongoing running costs of a SARC are the responsibility of local police forces and primary care trusts, and national service guidelines have been produced for these organisations on developing and sustaining SARCs.