Victims Commissioner Calls for Introduction of a Victims Law

Dame Vera Baird (in main image above), the Victims’ Commissioner, has called for legislation to introduce a law to assist those who have been a victim of crime. She said in a statement that “to regain the trust of victims, we urgently need a change of culture in how the justice system treats them”. Peter Kyle, the Shadow Minister for Victims and Youth Justice, said that the Labour Party backed the plans and called on the Government to make faster progress on the issue.

Baird said:

“We know victim confidence in our criminal justice system is in sharp decline. More and more victims are withdrawing their support for prosecutions and, in my recent survey of rape complainants, only around one in seven said they felt reporting could end in justice. Superficial changes are not enough if we are to reverse this downward trend. To regain the trust of victims, we urgently need a change of culture in how the justice system treats them.”

Kyle said:

“We are pleased to see the Victims’ Commissioner calling for a new law to place victims at the heart of the justice system. After years of failed promises from the government, Labour recently introduced a draft Victims Law to Parliament that would do just that. It’s there, published, and ready to go. The government needs to work with us to get it onto statute without more delay, and end the scandal of victims facing the second injustice of being let down by the very system that is supposed to help them.”

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has yet to comment on whether the Government would support new legislation.