Another Report about Victims - Another Disappointment for the most Vulnerable
In January, I openly spoke about the Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, first major review looking at compliance with the Victims’ Code. In February, we saw the publication of the much anticipated findings of the Labour's Victims' TaskForce comprising of Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Peter Neyroud CBE QPM and Sir Keir Starmer KCB QC.
Neither the findings of Baroness Newlove nor the recommendations from Labour’s Victims' TaskForcehave come as a surprise. With the upcoming election looming you can’t blame parties in the divulgence of high-profile, vote winning, manifesto-setting activities. And this is only the beginning.
For example, the TaskForce report included an evidential regurgitation of victim statistics and ‘must do better’ attitude for those affected by crime. Again, no surprises there. However, what is astonishing, and in no way symptomatic of just the Labour Party, is the continual need for politicians and policy makers to state the obvious; the obvious need to change our approach to the treatment of victims, the obvious discontent with the administration of justice, the obvious need to focus on those most vulnerable (who shockingly, are also offenders- no political wins to be had there though!). We don’t need a report to tell us what we already know. Especially when the majority of recommendations have to become policy requirements and law by November 2016 as per the EC Victims’ Directive that establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.
Albeit the task for governments to produce such reports and set appropriate agendas, it will be the work of individuals and communities to bring the Directive to life and ensure the rights of victims. That is why at the IARS International Institute that I founded and Direct, we have launched a free e-course for victims educating them about their rights (new and old) as protected in the