Victim Support international conference explores victim and witness services
Published: 11 July 2012
- 11 July 2012
CABVIS - Capacity building for EU crime victim support. With financial support from the European Commission Directorate General Justice.
Victim Support, along with Victim Support Europe, hosted a conference on Tuesday 10 July about 'The changing landscape of victim and witness services: How criminal justice agencies can respond to the challenges and meet victim and witness needs.'
- Javed Khan, Victim Support Chief Executive
- Crispin Blunt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice
- Frida Wheldon, from Victim Support Europe
- Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions
- Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner
- Sarah Albon of HM Courts & Tribunals Service
The speeches were followed by a Q&A session from the audience and workshops in the afternoon focusing on subjects including the Victims’ Code and the benefits of restorative justice.
Javed said: "Over the past decade or so there have been great improvements in services for victims and witnesses in the UK. Since 2001 we have seen the introduction of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, the Prosecutor’s Pledge, Witness Care Units, and the Victim Personal Statement. Criminal justice agencies have become hugely more aware of – and responsive to – the needs of victims and witnesses.
"But despite these improvements we know there is still a long way to go – and if we weren’t able to get it right in the good times, we face double the challenge to get it right now, in this tough economic climate."
Justice Minister Crispin Blunt said: "It is unacceptable that victims still frequently report being told too little, too late about the progress of their case, or are expected to sit next to the families of offenders. We want to stop the system rubbing salt into the wounds of those already badly harmed by crime.
"So the Government will undertake a review of the Victims’ Code and Witness Charter, to consider in detail how they can be made more effective and robust, and will consult on a draft new Code next year."
This conference is one of a series of similar events taking place across Europe as part of the Capacity Building for EU crime victim support (CABVIS) project
Watch highlights of the conference