Centre for child victims of crime is relaunched
Hinckley and Rugby Building Society bought the centre
HINCKLEY and Rugby Building Society was thanked for its two decades of supporting child victims and witnesses of crime.
The group has donated use of a house as an evidence centre where police can offer support services for children since 1999.
It was called the St Bernard’s Centre when it opened and has modernised and reopened as the Lighthouse.
Young people can be interviewed and meet police staff and officers there as well as giving evidence via remote link without having to attend court.
The society’s then chief executive Barry Hunt set up the centre after discussions with former Chief Constable David Wyrko.
Mr Hunt said: “David had been frustrated in his attempts to create such a centre.
“I went away and did some research into the society buying a house and lending it to the police.
“So that’s what we did, finding a suitable property that was detached and sizeable enough.
“The local media got behind the project, which led to a lot of other local businesses also becoming
involved by donating furniture and money.
“It opened and helped many children over the next two decades, but technology has moved on, offending has evolved, and the house needed updating.”
Mr Hunt was asked to cut the ribbon to open the Lighthouse.
He said: “Back in 1999 it was a ground-breaking facility and now in 2018 it is again.
“It is totally refreshed, looks great and is again fit for purpose.
“The Police believe it will be used a great deal.”
Sexual Assault Referral Centre manager Millie Gant said: “This project was a collaborative effort which couldn’t have been completed without a lot of support, input and suggestions from our partner agencies and sponsors.
“The Lighthouse does not look anything like a police building, either from the inside or outside.
“The society’s ongoing support is absolutely fundamental to the Lighthouse.
“It makes such a positive difference for the young victims of crime.
“The Lighthouse will now be here for another 20 years thanks to Hinckley and Rugby’s dedication to this community resource.”
Hinckley and Rugby Building Society was thanked for its two decades of supporting an evidence centre.