Response to HMI Probation report impact of the pandemic on the criminal justice system

19th January 2021

In a report published by HMI Probation, all four of Her Majesty’s Justice Chief Inspectors have expressed concern about the potential long-term impact of Covid-19-related court backlogs on the criminal justice system across England and Wales.

Responding to the findings in the Impact of the Pandemic on the Criminal Justice System report, Diana Fawcett, Victim Support’s Chief Executive, said:

“The findings of the report are damning and paint a picture of a justice system that is facing a crisis point. For years, even before the pandemic, we knew first-hand from victims that the system wasn’t working. Some victims face years of waiting while others have been told to pursue civil routes, for example applying for non-molestation orders. Victims are also seeing trials postponed at short notice, sometimes multiple times and the pandemic has only made this worse.

“This has left many victims feeling that their life has been put on hold or that justice is not served. We are also worried that some victims will lose confidence in the justice system and drop out of the process, or be unwilling to engage again in future.

“It could take years for the system to recover, and we are incredibly concerned that thousands of victims will fall through the gaps. The government must take drastic action to address the backlog in cases and the serious consequences of court delays.”


For further information, please contact Victim Support’s press office or call 07766 070660.

About Victim Support

Victim Support is an independent charity that provides specialist practical help and emotional support to victims of all crime and major incidents across England and Wales.
We provide support and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether or not the incident has been reported to the police.
Anyone seeking help can contact our free 24/7 Supportline number on 0808 16 89 111 or get in touch via the website –