A new code aimed at providing a better experience of the criminal justice system for victims of crime has come into force.
The Ministry of Justice guidelines, published yesterday (Monday, December 10) sets out how police forces, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts Service and Victim Support should work to better support those people who find themselves the victim of crime.
Northamptonshire’s police commissioner Adam Simmonds welcomed the changes in legislation, which will improve the experience of victims of crime.
Mr Simmonds launched a report in the county in September on how to improve service for victims, hearing from Kettering woman Gill Veysey, whose son Darren Glen was stabbed to death in 2009.
He said: “Improving the service victims and witnesses of crime have of the whole criminal justice system is one that I am committed to, and one that I believe we are making progress on in Northamptonshire.
“We launched the Victims’ Voice report in September which identifies a number of ways that improvements can be made, and I see the implementation of this law as a significant step forward.
“Victims and witnesses must be at the heart of what we do and I support anything that helps to progress the recommendations within our report.”
The Victims’ Code includes support victims should expect throughout the process from reporting a crime to post-trial support, including the right to make a statement explaining how the crime has affected victims emotionally, financially or in any other way, and to be kept informed about the progress of a trial.
The new code sets out enhanced support for victims of the most serious crime, persistently targeted and vulnerable or intimidated victims. It also includes a section dedicated to the needs of children and young people, their parents or guardians.
Businesses that are victims are also covered by the Victims’ Code, which sets out the specific entitlements they have if they are a victim of crime.