§ Mr. Mahmood
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy on the victim support network; and if he will encourage local authorities to assist the scheme financially and provide further financial assistance to the service. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
Since 1997 we have more than doubled the Home Office grant to Victim Support, to £25 million per annum. This has enabled them to develop and extend the work done by their existing community based schemes and to replicate in magistrates courts the excellent witness support service already provided at all Crown court centres. It is for local authorities to decide what their spending priorities are and whether and to what extent they feel able to fund the Victim Support schemes in their area.