To: lord chief justice

victims law petition

victims law petition

A law for victims of crime
we are a victim not just a witness!
This country is in desperate need of a law to protect victims of crime, currently the perpetrator of a crime has more rights and greater protection than that of their victim.

Why is this important?

A law for victims of crime
Victims are victims, not just witnesses!
This country is in desperate need of better law to protect victims of crime; currently, perpetrators of crimes have more rights and greater protection than do their victims.
Why is this important?
When I tell people my story I invariably encounter disbelief. Their eyes widen and mouths open – they then scan my face for a hint of a smile, as if I’m joking - because this is not how a victim of crime should be treated, especially when she’s a 13-year-old girl.
Sadly, however, my story is true – and I am not alone; 7.5 million crimes against UK households were recorded last year.

The first major flaw is that victims are reliant on police officers being well-trained and unbiased. Their initial perception of incidents influence whether or not they’re logged as crimes.
Officers’ failure to have a clear understanding of the law or pressure from their workloads may lead to crimes not being recorded, let alone investigated.
Our legal system treats victims of crime as witnesses; that’s their only rôle.
It might be possible to provide impact statements but these are read after any verdicts.
Victims have no legal representation; CPS prosecutes; it works for the Crown, not victims of crime.
There is a victims’ code of practice but it really only gives victims the right to seek support and be informed of proceedings.

See https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/publication/crime-data-integrity-force-reports/, CRIME DATA INTEGRITY INSPECTION OF SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY, AUG 2014, p. 7

As some of these records relate to sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults and children, this is a significant concern; it means that 26 vulnerable victims received no justice, no support and might have gone on to be further victimised. These records are from just one county – only a sample of reports were taken - so the success rate for reporting of crimes against the most vulnerable is approximately 20%, meaning only a 1 in 5 chance of victims receiving any support whatsoever.

Victims are left in the hands of the police. It’s incredibly hard to get them to listen, especially to criticism; victims must hope that police do their jobs properly. It’s also extremely difficult to bring negligence claim against the police. Following the case of Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (1988), it was decided that, in most circumstances it would not be fair, just and reasonable to make the police liable for negligently causing loss or damage to members of the public.

I propose that this changes; it would make the police more accountable and encourage them to improve performance.

Proposed victim law

1. There should be reasonable access to Courts, including Legal Aid where appropriate.
2. Hearings must be held within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial Court or tribunal established by law (including unbiased jurors); what is “reasonable” depends on the complexity and importance of the case, the behaviour of the applicant and competent authorities and the length of time between the incident and commencement of the trial. Victims must have real opportunities to present their cases of the alleged crimes against them, including the right to impartial legal representation that may liaise with CPS, access to opponents’ submissions, procedural equality and evidence relied on by the other party and oral hearings.
3. There should a right to silence and a privilege against self-incrimination (although it may be possible to draw adverse inferences from victims remaining silent).
4. Victims must have the right to effective participation in criminal trials via legal representatives.
5. Victims must have the right to continue their lives after trials without discrimination, harassment or fear imposed on them by trial participants including all witnesses as well as the accused, irrespective of the verdict or judgement.
6. Victims of crime have the right to report those crimes to police and have them fairly investigated.
7. Police officers should be accountable for the well-being of victims of crime.

Please see my website for more details
http://victimslaw.wordpress.com/about/


It’s too late for us now, but we can protect victims in the future. Help us do that.


Reasons for signing

  • 1. Female police officers should attend female victims. 2. Officers should explain process clearly and what they need (statement, clothes, DNA etc and that you may not get your clothes back). 3. Victim should be offered food and drink. Video link police station rooms should be available. Victim should be given Lift back after reporting. 5. Victim should be told about feedback /complaints reporting. 6. Officer who types statement should be quick and accurate.
  • Victims are the ones suffering and need supporting.
  • Fed up of crime not being punished.

Updates

2015-01-28 16:53:02 +0000

https://fabrily.com/201503 please buy a T-shirt to show your support many thanks

2015-01-19 13:51:58 +0000

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30872526 people are starting become aware of the justice system treatment of witness's but these proposals arent enough! We need more! please sign and share this petition.

2015-01-17 17:22:06 +0000

https://victimslaw.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/would-that-be-enough-for-you/

2015-01-04 16:55:23 +0000

100 signatures reached

2015-01-03 18:27:08 +0000

http://victims2survivors.co.uk/2015/01/01/a-mothers-perspective-how-my-daughters-rape-made-me-realise-victims-need-better-legal-protection/

2014-12-13 20:51:32 +0000

Spent the day campaigning in Lowestoft High Street it went really well! had lots of interest, spoke to lots of lovely people who are supporting us. local shops bought us coffee and kept us warm, big thanks to them as it was a cold day!

2014-11-22 15:24:05 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-11-19 12:35:14 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-11-16 22:04:56 +0000

10 signatures reached