MPs raised research from Victim Support’s Victim of the System report in a debate on victims’ rights in the House of Commons last week.
Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, led the debate and called for victims’ rights to be strengthened and for the government to introduce a Victims’ Law.
He told Parliament:
‘Last year, Victim Support published research undertaken with almost 400 victims, which highlighted the failings inherent in the system.
‘These failings include the fact that 52% of victims surveyed were not offered the chance to make a victim personal statement; that 46% of victims surveyed had not received a written acknowledgment of the crime from the police; and that 19% had not been referred to support services.
‘As things stand, too many people are being failed by the system, so things need to change.’
The Victim of the System report was released last year and examined the challenges faced by victims in the criminal justice system.
Shadow Justice Minister Gloria De Piero MP addressed the Victims’ Minister, Dr Phillip Lee, saying:
‘Victim Support can provide some of the answers … [Victim Support] research found that six in 10 victims surveyed did not receive their rights under the code.
‘Does the Minister agree that it is time that that was effectively monitored and upheld?’
Responding to the debate, the Victims’ Minister said:
‘Victims’ rights must be a practical reality within the justice system, rather than just words on a page.
‘This government are committed to ensuring that the rights of victims are delivered throughout the criminal justice process.
‘We are also examining how criminal justice agencies responsible for delivery of entitlements might be better held to account.’