Today the Ministry of Justice have announced a revised Victims Code. Essentially giving victims a louder voice and ensuring they have the correct support as they recover from their ordeal.
John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire welcomes the greater focus on victims which he has worked towards since being elected. He is delighted by the announcement which gives victims the chance to read a Personal Statement in court.
John said: "The revised code is a great step forward in making sure victim’s voices are heard. This will be the first time victims have had the opportunity to read their statements in court. Doing this allows the judge to take this information into account when determining the sentence.
"I think it’s really important to give victims support from the start of the process right through to the end. Far too often we hear stories where the offender is given greater priority than the victim. This needs to change, and this revised code will help to address this issue."
Policing Minister Damian Green said: "I want to create a tougher justice system. Under this Government those who break the law are more likely to go to prison for longer. I’m making sure victim’s voices are heard and that criminals no longer get away with just a slap on the wrist."
John is currently collecting feedback from victims of crime using his ‘Victim’s Voice’ survey. John added: "Being a victim of crime can be a traumatic and sometimes life changing event. It’s vital for me to understand what experiences victims’ have had and what their needs and expectations are for the services that are provided by the variety of victim services organisations.
"I outlined in my manifesto and later in my Police & Crime Plan that I wanted to look into and explore victim services because I want to make sure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report crimes to Cheshire Constabulary"
If you would like to give your feedback about the services you’ve received and your experience as a victim, visit www.Cheshire-pcc.gov.uk and fill in the ‘Victim’s Voice’ survey.
The Victim’s Code will come into force in December 2013.