In the Media

Letters: Support to victims of crime threatened

PUBLISHED April 20, 2012

This weekend sees the end of the government's consultation on proposals that could significantly change the way that help is given to victims and witnesses of crime. As not-for-profit organisations working in and around the criminal justice sector, or working with people affected by crime, we have shared concerns about some of the proposals being put forward. Foremost among these is the plan that funding for victim and witness services be channelled through the new police and crime commissioners (Comment, 18 April), with few guarantees that support will be available to those most in need.

We would all endorse the principle that local services should meet local needs. The proposal to achieve this by dividing up current national arrangements and funding into 42 local pots is not a convincing one. Many funding arrangements have shown us that local sharing out of government funding brings with it a significant risk of high administration costs. Even more importantly, it could result in patchy and ineffective service delivery, with those with the greatest needs even more likely to miss out. We urge the government to reconsider this proposal and recognise the risk that local commissioning will end up costing more and will ultimately mean that victims in need of crucial help and support will pay a heavy personal price.
Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty
Mark Goldring, Chief executive, Mencap
Javed Khan, Chief executive, Victim Support
Juliet Lyon, Director, Prison Reform Trust
Paul McKeever, Chairman, Police Federation of England & Wales
Matt Searle, Director of Operations & Consular Liaison, Lucie Blackman Trust - Missing Abroad
Debra Clothier, Director, Escaping Victimhood
Barry Mizen, Founder the Jimmy Mizen Foundation
Hazel Evans, CEO, Through Unity
Rose Dixon, CEO, SAMM National
Cynthia Barlow, Chair, RoadPeace
Ann Oakes-Odger Founder/CEO, KnifeCrimes.Org & Victims' Advocates
Ann Chalmers, Chief executive, Child Bereavement Charity