Victory for Liberal Democrats in fight to strengthen Victims’ Code

The Government has agreed to back Sal Brinton’s calls for a strengthened Victims’ Code following a hard fought campaign by our Party President.

During ping-pong of the Policing and Crime Bill the Government made concessions on the principles of Sal Brinton’s amendments which put the discretionary Victims’ Code on to a statutory footing. The current situation sees thousands of victims let down every day because of inconsistent and unenforced practice by those in the criminal justice system.

The Government has now agreed to a review of support for victims reporting back within six months, including consultation with victims groups and others. It also agreed to strengthen, through legislation, anything necessary for the agencies dealing with victims to ensure they fulfil their duties, are appropriately trained and monitored in the delivery of their support for victims.

Sal Brinton said:

For too long, the voice of victims have been ignored by  the Government. Whilst the Victims’ Code looks good on the surface there is no duty on any part of the criminal justice system to provide support for victims, it is failing in its fundamental aim of protecting victims.

Last month the Lords agreed to strengthen the Victims’ Code by putting it on a statutory footing, yet the Conservatives rejected this vital changed.

Today the Liberal Democrats have won a victory for the victims of this incomplete and poorly enforced law, we have also taken a step to ensure the government honour their clear manifesto commitment.

This victory was also thanks to the great sacrifice and bravery of people like Jill Saward, who died unexpectedly two weeks ago. Her personal experience and then her determination to continue to support victims of serious crimes such as assault, rape and stalking was an inspiration to all who knew her. She transformed the way this country thinks about victims of crime, and her work and memory will live on.

Thousands of victims will now be protected from inconsistent and unenforced poor practice by the police, CPS and the courts.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.

One Comment

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th Jan '17 - 8:39pm

    I cannot express how important this is and how much I thank Sal Brinton and any colleagues involved.

    This issue is a particular cause of mine , the victim of crime , especially violent crime , something I have written and spoken about over many years going back to my days as a supporter of Blair when he was shadow home secretary , let alone Labour leader and prime minister !

    In those days and over the years , another strong voice on the issues related, was Simon Hughes. Liberalism is about the underdog or it is an obsolete philosophy , meaningless if that is not a part of it.

    No other issue better illustrates where we can put our energies as Liberal Democrats !

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