Victim reforms 'waste millions'

The charity Victim Support claims millions of pounds will be wasted on bureaucracy, and victims of crime will suffer, under Government plans to reform services.

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Government plans 'to provide better support' to crime victims

The government says it currently spends £66 million a year supporting victims and witnesses of crime - and added its proposals would raise up to £50 million extra and increase the support and help on offer.

Critics of the proposed changes say victims of crime could suffer
Critics of the proposed changes say victims of crime could suffer Credit: Reuters

In a statement the Government said: "The Government is determined to provide the best-quality help to the most seriously affected, vulnerable or persistently targeted victims of crime and that is precisely what our proposals are designed to achieve.

Police and crime commissioners will put the needs of victims of crime at the centre of their agenda, and will be required by law to consult with victims in setting policing priorities in their local area."

Victims of crime facing a 'postcode lottery'

Victims of crime deserve the best assistance the State can provide. The Government's proposals to slash compensation and fragment victims' services will undermine vital support for those whose lives are devastated by the physical and emotional effects of crime. Leaving help for victims to the whim of a locally elected politician will create a postcode lottery and risk funding being diverted to the most high-profile cases, leaving the marginalised badly under-protected.

– Shami Chakrabarti, Director of the civil rights group Liberty

Government 'has duty of care' to victims of crime

The Police Federation, which represents officers in England and Wales, says the government should look again at its plans, and reconsider the impact they may have on victims of crime.

Victim Support has a network of almost 7,000 trained volunteers
Victim Support has a network of almost 7,000 trained volunteers Credit: Reuters

Paul McKeever, the federation's Chairman, said: "Police officers are often the first port of call for victims of crime and see the extreme distress and anxiety many experience; for many, over months and years.

The Government has a duty of care to ensure appropriate and suitable help and resources are made available for victims of crime. We therefore support the call by Victim Support for the Government to rethink their plans which could have a detrimental effect on people when they need help the most."

'Serious concerns' over planned changes for crime victims

We have serious concerns about plans to break up existing, secure and locally based ways of helping them in favour of what will inevitably be a more expensive, fragmented and inefficient system. It makes no sense to reinvent the wheel by asking police and crime commissioners to purchase services for victims. Victim Support has been successfully giving help to victims and witnesses for nearly 40 years... Getting it right for victims and witnesses should be about putting their needs at the heart of changes.

– Javed Khan, Chief Executive, Victim Support

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Crime victims 'set to suffer' under reforms

A charity which helps victims of crime says millions of pounds will be wasted if the government hands control of budgets to new police and crime commissioners (PCCs). The Justice Secretary wants to change the way services work to create a "faster system". But Victim Support claims:

  • £21 million will be wasted on commissioning
  • Cost of PCCs commissioning services would account for 18% of funding
  • That's almost double the Government's own estimate of 10%
  • Intensive support lost for 25,000 victims of domestic violence