Victims of crime will receive clearer information, helping them to better understand their rights.
This news comes after the Government announced a revision to their ‘Victims’ Code’ which outlines your rights if you’ve been a victim of crime and the level of service you should expect from the police, courts and other criminal justice agencies.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones has welcomed the new Code, which has been updated to present information in a clearer, more accessible format.
Mr Jones described it as a “positive step for all victims and survivors.” He said: “It is important that all victims of crime are aware of their rights, have access to support and know what to expect on their journey through the criminal justice system.
“If you have been affected by crime, you will understand that it is a time when you feel the most vulnerable and are least likely to engage. This makes it all the more important that information is clear, concise and easy to digest. It is great to see this implemented within the new Code.”
The new Code includes:
- Simplifying and shortening the Code to make it clear, concise and easy to understand.
- Changing the Victim Contact Scheme from an opt-in to an automatic referral scheme.
- Offering greater flexibility over when a Victim Personal Statement, which tells the court how the crime has affected the victim, can be made.
- New rights for victims of mentally disordered offenders, allowing them access to a Victim Liaison Officer to provide information on an offender’s management and potential release from hospital.
- For the first time, the Code sets out the rights of victims of Foreign National Offenders to be updated on when an offender’s deportation may occur.
- The new Code also includes practical information about how victims can access services provided by the National Health Service and signposts them to where they can get help and advice if they are approached by the media.
The new Code follows an open consultation by the Ministry of Justice in March, which was supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner. It will come into force on 1 April 2021, to allow criminal justice agencies and others who provide services under the Code time to embed any operational changes to meet their new obligations.
If you’ve been the victim of crime, support is available, whether you have reported the crime to the police or not. Victim Lincs provide free, confidential advice and guidance, as well as access to specialist emotional support services. Visit www.victimlincs.co.uk or call 01522 947510.
View the new Victims Code here
View the PCC Marc Jones’ 'Victims and Survivors Strategy' here