Thursday, 31 October 2013

Commissioner Welcomes Revised Victims' Code

Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright, has welcomed the revised Victims’ Code published earlier this week.

The new Victims’ Code will entitle victims to read their Victim Personal Statement out in court. The statutory Code will also:

  • Ensure enhanced support for victims of the most      serious crimes, persistently targeted victims or the most vulnerable/intimidated
  • Provide extra support to victims of stalking, domestic abuse, terrorism and families bereaved by violent crime
  • Ensure all victims are automatically referred to victims’ service by the police so that all victims receive consistent and immediate access to support services
  • Give victims a clearer means of redress if they are not given the support they deserve
  • Have a section written for young people and their parents or guardians so they can understand and take ownership of their journey through the Criminal Justice System, and
  • For the first time give businesses, who are victims of 9.2million crimes committed each year, will be able to have their say by writing an Impact Statement to explain to the court how a crime has affected them.

Sir Graham said: “I welcome anything that puts the victim in the driving position, ensuring they receive the necessary help in the aftermath of a crime committed against them. For many, the offence against them is only the start of what can seem to many to be a traumatic process and it is our collective duty to ensure they are effectively supported throughout the criminal justice system.

“The Code is recognition of the importance of victim’s specific needs. While many victims may choose not to read out a personal statement, those who do will undoubtedly feel that they have been given a voice that, in the past, may not have been heard. That very personal testament is an important aspect of ensuring that the offender understands the emotional impact of their offence on the individual.

“But it is not only the individuals who are given a voice through the revised Code. I am also encouraged to see recognition given to businesses who are victims of crime. Some offenders choose to view crimes against businesses as victimless crimes when this simply is not true as these offences can have a much wider impact on both the business itself and the local community. I believe that the Impact Statement will help to shine a light on the problems many businesses face as a result of crime committed against them.”