A key function of our policy team is providing responses to public consultations that represent victims’ views and needs in criminal justice reforms.
You can view our responses here:
Victim Support’s response specifically raises concern with public interest factor ‘b’ in respect of Category 4 offences. We recommend that factor ‘b’ (swift and effective action has been taken by the suspect to remove the communication in question or otherwise block access to it) is only considered as a public interest factor where ‘a’ (the suspect has expressed genuine remorse) is also evident.
In this response, Victim Support agrees that there is currently a gap in the range of interventions available to protect victims of ‘stranger stalking’, which may, unnecessarily, be placing them at further risk of harm. We argue that this necessitates the introduction of a new measure and that, if combined with appropriate training for front line staff, a Stalking Protection Order could offer victims greater protections than is currently available.
Victim Support’s response welcomes the enhanced role of police staff and volunteers proposed by the Home Office. However, we argue that this should be conditional on the application of safeguards, as prescribed by Section 38 (4) of the Police Reform Act, to ensure that any and all individuals within the police who come into contact with victims are appropriately trained to support them.
In this response Victim Support outlines the importance of prioritising the needs of victims and witnesses in reforming the court estate. We highlight the changes that we believe need to be made to ensure fairer access to justice and guarantee that no child has to enter a court building to give evidence if they do not want to.
Victim Support considers the Victims’ Code to be the single most important document for victims of crime in England and Wales. In this response we welcome the majority of changes to the Code but raise concerns over their funding as well the Code’s monitoring and enforcement.
Based on our direct experience of supporting victims and witnesses of crime, Victim Support’s response provides recommendations and insights on how the Met can win and maintain the trust of the public (particularly victims), their performance on victim care and on opportunities for greater partnership working.
In this response Victim Support welcomes the Sentencing Council’s decision to place a greater emphasis on the harm caused to victims of robbery. We recommend that all guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council should include a reference to the Victim Personal Statement as well as information on making sentencing remarks more victim focused.