Police commissioner: 'Victims of crime should not just be an afterthought'
10:02am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
BOLTON’S police and crime commissioner has called for a victim’s code of practice, specifically for Greater Manchester.
The plan comes as Damian Green, the minister for policing, criminal justice and victims, announced a new Victims’ Code, which will allow victims of crime to feel “central” to the judicial process — and not just an afterthought.
Commissioner Tony Lloyd has welcomed the new code but has expressed concerns about the complexity and length of the document which comes into effect in December.
He said: “That’s why I’ve been working with victim support services, voluntary groups, criminal justice agencies and, importantly, victims of crime, to develop a local code of practice that will be relevant and meaningful to the people of Greater Manchester.
“We also need to ensure that this doesn’t just become an unenforceable piece of paper that criminal justice agencies disregard.
“This is where Police and Crime Commissioners have a responsibility to make sure the police, courts, CPS, victim services and other agencies work together to deliver an effective service that has the needs of victims at its heart and that is something I am committed to delivering in Greater Manchester.”
Currently, judges read such statements in private with only parts being read aloud in court by prosecutors.
The code will also give businesses — which are victims of 9.2 million crimes each year — the chance to write an impact statement.
Victims will also be automatically referred to victims' service by the police and given a clearer means of compensation if they are not given support.
Minister Green said the move would “give victims a real say in proceedings”.
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