Local people deserve a local voice in the criminal justice process, says Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Commenting on the revised Victims’ Code, published by Government today, Tony Lloyd has outlined his plans for a Greater Manchester victims’ code of practice.
Although welcoming the new code, which entitles all victims the opportunity to speak in court and personally address offenders to explain how the crime has impacted on them, Tony has expressed concerns about the complexity and length of the document which comes into effect in December.
“It’s a welcome move by the Government to revise the victims’ code of practice and is another step towards putting victims at the centre of the criminal justice system,” says Tony.
“Steps to give all victims the opportunity to address an offender in court and explain the impact their crime has had on them, simplifying the complaints process for those not happy with how they’ve been treated by the criminal justice system, and extra support for repeat and vulnerable victims and victims of most serious crimes are all positive moves. I also welcome the fact that automatic referral to victim support services has been retained in the revised code – removing this would have led to many people, particularly vulnerable victims, not receiving the help and support they need.
“However, I do have concerns that the document is over-long and will lead to more confusion and frustration for victims of crime who already face a complex and daunting justice process. 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.”
But what do you think?
- Read the Victims’ Code on the GOV.UK website.
- Give us your feedback using the form on this page.
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