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?
When I tell people my story I find peoples faces all have the same expression, that of disbelief.
Their eyes widen and mouths open, This is normally followed by them scanning my face for a hint of a smile, as if I am joking.
Because that’s not how a victim of crime are supposed to be treated especially when the victim is a 13 yr old old girl.
But the sad fact is my story is true and I am not alone 7.5 million crimes against households were recorded in the UK last year.
The first major flaw is that you as a victim are reliant on the police officer being well trained and Un-bias! As it is there first perception of the incident that will influence whether or not it becomes logged as a crime.
If the officer dose not have a clear understanding of the law or is under pressure from the work loads that are placed upon them. Then the chances are a crime will not be recorded let alone investigated.
As a victim of a crime our legal system treats you as a witness, that is your only role.
If your lucky you might be able to provide an impact statement but these are read after any verdict.
you have no legal representation the CPS prosecute the case but they work for the crown not the victim of the crime.
Yes there is a victims code of practice but it really only gives the victim the right to get support and to be informed of the proceedings.
CRIME DATA INTEGRITY INSPECTION OF SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY AUG 2014
“we examined 54 reports that were held on the protecting vulnerable people units case administration and tracking system (CATS) database. From 54 reports 37 crimes should have been raised out of the 37 only 14 had been recorded out of those 14 one was wrongly classified two were recorded after the 72 hour limit AS SOME OF THESE RECORDS RELATED TO Sexual Offenses and assaults on Vulnerable ADULTS and CHILDREN THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT CONCERN. This means that 26 vulnerable victims got no justice, no support and in all probably went on to be further victimized, I will remind you that this is one county and only a sample of reports were taken so the success rate for actual reporting of crimes against the most vulnerable is only approximate 20% so that’s a 1 in 5 chance of getting any victim support what so ever
As a victim you are left in the hands of the police and its incredibly hard to get them to listen to you especially if you are criticizing them, you have to hope that they do the job properly. It is extremely difficult to bring a negligence claim against the police as they have a large amount of immunity. 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 this would encourage them to improve performance.
Proposed victim law,
1, There should be reasonable access to a court this should include legal aid.
2, There must be a hearing before an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law (including unbiased jurors).
The hearing must be held within a reasonable time.
What is reasonable depends on the complexity of the case, its importance, the behavior of both the applicant and competent authorities, and the length of time between the conduct in question (i.e. when the offense was committed or contract breached etc.) and when the trial takes place.
The victim must have a real opportunity to present his or her case of the crime that has been committed against them this should include the right to legal impartial representation that can liaise with the CPS.
This will require access to an opponent’s submissions, procedural equality and generally requires access to evidence relied on by the other party and an oral hearing.
3, In criminal cases, 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,A victim must have the right to effective participation in a criminal trial via a legal representative.
5,A victim has the right to continue their life after the trial without discrimination, harassment, or fear. imposed on them by any participants of the trial this should include all witnesses as well as the accused, No matter what the verdict or judgement was in the trial.
6,Any victim of crime has the right to report it to police and have it fairly investigated.
7,police officers should be accountable for the well-being of victims of crime