The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation into the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/proposed-changes-to-the-victims-code/
The MoJ says:
The Victims’ Code sets out the rights that victims of crime in England & Wales should receive. Under the code, all victims of crime – whether they choose to report it or not – are entitled to a range of support and information. To ensure the Code better meets victims’ needs, the MoJ is consulting on proposals which will give victims a louder voice in the process, ensure that they are better heard through their journey in the criminal justice system, and make sure they can access the support they need.
Victims of Anti-Social Behaviour
What about victims of anti-social behaviour? They do not even fall in the scope of the review. The Ministry of Justice works from the basis of it being only for victims of crime.
We would argue that being a victim of repeat, persistent anti-social behaviour can actually cause more distress and require more support than being a victim of some crimes. It is also a case that we all cope differently with both ASB and crime. As such the focus should be on the needs and vulnerabilities of the victim, not whether the behaviour they have been subjected to has crossed into the definition of crime.
At the very least, we would suggest that victims of anti-social behaviour who have requested an ASB multi-case review under the Community Trigger, should be entitled to rights and support under the Victims’ Code.
We think it is unfair that funding to give victims practical and emotional support is ringfenced only for victims of crime. Let’s not forget that a victim of anti-social behaviour coming forward to receive emotional support may in fact lead to uncovering hidden crime from the ASB perpetrators. Timely support for victims of anti-social behaviour and an encouragement of early intervention techniques can also prevent crime from developing in the first place.
Get Involved in the Ministry of Justice consultation
We have made our voice heard in this Ministry of Justice consultation. We invite you to also. https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/proposed-changes-to-the-victims-code/ Deadline for contributions is 11 September 2019.