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.
More top news
The announcement was hailed as a "momentous step" that will help families facing financial stress as they come to terms with their loss.
Pop Idol's Michelle McManus has joined 10 choirs to record a charity single that they hope will make Christmas Number One.
The decision was met with outrage and anger by UK cities which were on the shortlist for the prestigious award.