Victim Support Manifesto 2001 - Protection

Following a crime, victims are likely to have a need for protection, in terms of their property, their physical safety, their psychological well-being or their privacy. After a burglary the chances of the same house being burgled again are high, so crime prevention advice will be important, along with provision of quick repairs and security measures, particularly for people in rented accommodation. In cases of domestic violence, racially motivated crime or harassment, victims have good reason to fear for their safety. Witnesses may also be concerned about their safety. Whether or not an offender has been detected or prosecuted, such victims and witnesses have a right to protection. Victim Support can guide people through the maze of provisions to ensure that they have access to the best help. In addition the way that other agencies work should take the safety needs of victims into account.

Better safeguards of victims' privacy by the media

Following the publication in their local newspaper of their address, the family of a murder victim received letters of sympathy from people they did not know. They were concerned that they could equally have received letters or even threats from people who were not sympathetic to them, especially as a member of the family was a witness to the murder.

Victim Support believes that the names and addresses or photographs of victims of crime or relatives bereaved by violent crime should not be published and details which would identify them should be withheld unless they have consented to the publicity. This anonymity could be provided by extensions to the current media codes of practice or legislation similar to that which grants anonymity to victims of rape and sexual assault.

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