Victims of crime will now be able to hold the criminal justice system to account thanks to a statutory new Victims Code, Helen Grant announced today.
A simple new Code setting out a clear set of entitlements which is written for victims rather than the 'system' has today been put out to consultation.
The new Code will:
- Tell people what they can expect from the moment they report a crime to the end of a trial and who to demand help from.
- Ensure extra support for victims of the most serious crimes.
- Offer specialist help to young victims.
- Give all businesses, for the first time, the opportunity to tell the court how a crime has impacted on them.
- Provide all the information needed for a victim to tell the court about the effect a crime has had by providing a Victim Personal Statement. Previously information was provided on an ad hoc basis.
- Ensure a right to redress by making all criminal justice agencies use a clear, accessible complaints system.
Victims' Minister Helen Grant said:
'Victims must have more help navigating a confusing and often intimidating Criminal Justice System. Too often they tell us they feel they are treated as an afterthought or that 'system' made their already horrific experience worse.
'I have always been clear we must put a stop to this, and make sure victims of crime are treated with the care they deserve. This total revamp of the Victims Code has been one of my main priorities and I have heard from victims just how important getting this right is.'