Fears over victim code

A new code for victims drawn up by the Government risks seeing up to 700,000 people who have been burgled, robbed and assaulted "fall through the cracks". Victim Support said plans to limit referral to services will make it difficult for people.

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More than 270,000 victims 'would not get help'

Independent research also shows that 58% of victims need support. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ministry of Justice figures show that up to 259,000 victims of burglary and up to 18,000 victims of robbery each year would not be routinely offered the help they want if these proposals go ahead, Victim Support said.

The charity said independent research also shows that 58% of victims need support regardless of the crime type.

Risk that victims will 'fall through the cracks'

Victim Support assistant chief executive Adam Pemberton said the charity welcomed many changes to the proposed code but had "serious concerns" with plans to limit automatic referral.

Our research shows that nearly two-thirds of victims need help and that support can reduce their chances of suffering problems such as depression, absenteeism from work and family breakdown with all the hidden economic and social costs they bring.

We recognise that ministers are seeking to put victims' rights at the heart of the criminal justice system but call on them restore the principle of automatic referral which has served millions of people so very well.

– Victim Support assistant chief executive Adam Pemberto

He said there was a 'very real risk' that people who have been burgled, robbed and assaulted will 'fall through the cracks' and suffer more unnecessary trauma as a result.

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Call for new code to give victims the 'help they need'

A new code for victims drawn up by the Government risks seeing up to 700,000 people who have been burgled, robbed and assaulted "fall through the cracks".

Victim Support said plans to limit automatic referral to support services will make it difficult for people to "get the help they need".

All victims are currently automatically offered support once they have experienced a crime, but in 80% of cases they do not take it up.

Under the new code, ministers have proposed restricting automatic referral to those who have suffered a "serious" offence and those deemed vulnerable by being under 18, mentally ill or persistently targeted.

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