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Victims of Crime

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“The system is based on process and managing it, rather than the needs of victims and witnesses.”

This quotation comes from, Louise Casey, Commissioner for victims of crime. Process, rather than needs and outcomes, seems to have been the obsession -and the failing – of public services. Similar comments could be made of targets in NHS services, policing, social services … and so on. The same is also true of regulators, whether of public sector functions or of private sector businesses. Perhaps the tide is turning. We can but hope.

Despite the creation of the post of Victims’ Commissioner, which followed the tragic Sarah Payne case, we still see a very confused picture in which victims (and witnesses) find it very difficult to get support or even to get basic information about the progress of criminal investigations and proceedings. “Victims and witnesses are not at the heart of the system – if anything they are the poor relation.”

Victims of crime often need access to legal advice about their interest and role in criminal proceedings against the offender. They may also need legal advice about dealing with the aftermath of crime including advice about claims they may be able to make whether against the perpetrators of crime, insurers or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.