Consultation on Improving the Victims’ Code

Closes 16 Apr 2020

Opened 5 Mar 2020

Overview

Being a victim of crime can be life-changing, and how people are treated within the justice system can make a huge difference to their ability to cope and recover. As Victims’ Minister I believe it is crucial that victims receive the help and support they need, but this should not be at the expense of them being treated with respect and sensitivity. 

Following a commitment made in the first-ever cross-government Victims’ Strategy, our initial consultation held last year clearly set out our vision for a Victims’ Code (the Code) designed to build both victim confidence and trust in the system. The consultation was aimed at addressing the complexity and accessibility issues with the current Code, updating the entitlements to better meet victims needs and ensuring that the right support is available at the right time. Our latest proposals seek to build on this by changing the structure of the existing Code so it becomes a clearly defined set of rights, that are easy for victims to understand and which set out the minimum level of service they can expect from criminal justice agencies. 

Following extensive stakeholder engagement with victims and victims’ groups, our proposals focused on a number of key areas: raising awareness and accessibility; providing clearer information on victims’ rights to access practical and emotional support; strengthening communication and taking account of the victim’s preferences; and increasing the voice of the victim through providing more flexibility in the Victim Personal Statement process. 

We received a total of 231 responses to our first consultation, from a range of organisations and individuals. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took the time to send us their thoughts and to assure you that we have carefully considered them. In-line with our statutory obligations we are now undertaking this second consultation, which includes a draft revised version of the Code.

We look forward to hearing what you have to say and gauging your views on the changes we are proposing. We want the revised Code to pave the way for a Victims’ Law that will guarantee victims their rights, as well as clearly set out the level of support victims should receive through the criminal justice process.

 

Alex Chalk

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice

Give us your views

Audiences

  • Voluntary organisations
  • Victims
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary

Interests

  • Criminal justice
  • Family justice