THE VICTIMS AND PRISONERS BILL
The Somerset Guardian, 17th May 2023
Keeping people safe is one of the highest priorities for the Government. It understands that protecting people - especially the victims of crime - is paramount to ensuring that we live in a secure, well-functioning society.
A victim’s experience of the criminal justice system does not just stop after the perpetrator has been found guilty. Therefore, the Government is seeking to introduce steps via The Victims and Prisoners Bill, which will both increase public protection and ensure that victims of crime are supported properly.
The Government firmly believes that the measures in this Bill go a significant way to achieving this by guaranteeing that police requests for Third Party Material are both necessary and proportionate.
The Government will also, alongside many other recommendations, simplify the process for victims of crime to make complaints to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman by removing the need to go through their Member of Parliament (MP) as well as requiring relevant departments and bodies to respond to recommendations in the Victims’ Commissioner’s reports within fifty-six days.
Devastating, violent crimes have a long-lasting impact on victims and the fear of intrusive demands for information can deter victims from reporting offences or from investigations continuing without obstruction. It is, therefore, imperative that victims are confident they will be treated with sensitivity and dignity when reporting crimes and that their rights to privacy are protected.
I am sure that the new measures being proposed by the Government will bolster confidence in the system so that people feel safer, victims of crime are safeguarded and more perpetrators are brought to justice.
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