Victim Support Manifesto 2001 - Victim Support is calling for...

To underpin the rights for victims, Victim Support is calling for:

Legislation for victims' rights

Victim Support believes that victims' rights should be protected in legislation which would:

Such legislation would give greater status to the rights of victims. It needs to start with the needs of victims in terms of support, information, protection and compensation. However no legislation is likely to cover all the provisions which are available to victims of crime. Defined service standards are therefore also essential.

Both legislation and service standards need to be underpinned by audit mechanisms to improve accountability, better training and education, and better provision of information to victims about their rights.

A Commissioner for Victims of Crime

There has been a proposal that a new post of Ombudsman for Victims of Crime be created. But an Ombudsman who just covers issues related to the criminal justice system would fail to benefit the majority of victims who don't get into the system. Victim Support welcomes the proposal but believes that the remit should extend beyond the traditional core functions of an Ombudsman. Therefore, Victim Support is calling instead for a Commissioner for Victims of Crime who, in promoting the best interests of victims of crime, would:

Additional funding for Victim Support services

Victim Support provides respect, recognition and support, information and help with claiming compensation and with seeking protection, to victims of crime whether or not they have reported the crime, and whether or not the case goes to court. The Victim Supportline provides a means of access to these services, particularly valuable to victims who have not reported the crime to the police, such as victims of racially motivated crime, domestic violence and sexual crime. For victims and witnesses who do come to court, the Witness Service run by Victim Support provides support in all the Crown Courts in England and Wales and by April 2002 this will be extended to all the magistrates courts.

Additional funding from the Home Office would enable Victim Support to:

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