Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, commenting on the Ministry of Justice announcement on the Victims and witness strategy today, said:
“Victims should be at the heart of our criminal justice system – our approach should be about preventing people becoming victims in the first place, but also giving those on the end of criminal actions the support they need.
"This Government’s track record on victims is miserable. They dragged their heels for over two years on compensating victims of overseas terrorism – a slap in the face to those innocently caught up in terrorist atrocities abroad. Closer to home, their sentencing policies are an insult to victims of serious and violent crime. Our proposed reforms to the Government’s sentencing Bill to increase the use of restorative justice was blocked. The Victims Commissioner post sits vacant, months after the last office holder left, indicating just how low a priority this Government places on the needs of victims. And now they’re floating a Victims Code – but not a code with any teeth, that can be properly enforced. Instead, just a piece of paper – insufficient to protect the rights of victims throughout the criminal justice system.
"I’m not surprised at how weak today’s announcement is – it’s par for the course for a Government so out of touch with the needs of victims.”