Victims' Champion report
Published: 05 November 2009
- 04 November 2009
Courts are still difficult and intimidating places for most witnesses
Responding to the publication of Sara Payne's report as Victims' Champion, our Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:
“This report is helpful in setting out where we are today in identifying the needs of victims and witnesses and highlighting flaws in the system. It brings together many existing ideas for improving criminal justice and a few new ones. But it doesn’t actually tackle the fundamental problem that however much we try and tweak the current justice system to help victims and witnesses, we are still trying to make it do something it was not designed to do. So from that point of view the report is something of a lost opportunity.
“What we really need is a more profound debate about the role of the criminal justice system in society. Rather than dealing with the separate elements of crime, we need to tackle crime and its effects on society in the round – rehabilitation, prevention and caring for those affected are every bit as important as dealing with offenders. And all of these things are crucial if we really want to do justice to victims.
“Sara’s report is a great start and needs to be followed up with action to put its recommendations into effect. But it is just a start and we need more of a revolution to create a new criminal justice service, designed from the start to not only administer justice, but with victims and witnesses at its heart too.”