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New victims' survey underlines increasing lack of confidence in justice system

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has welcomed the findings of a national survey shedding new light on the experiences of victims caught in the justice system, saying they will provide a baseline for improvement.

Dame Vera Baird’s 2021 Victims’ Survey, published today (9 Sep), paints a worrying picture of justice across the UK, with many victims admitting to losing faith in the process and airing frustrations at unacceptable delays in their cases.

The Victims’ Commissioner launched the survey in the summer to better understand victims’ priorities and gain insights into their experiences of the criminal justice system during the past three years, including the pandemic.

Among the headline findings were the fact just 43 per cent of victims surveyed would report a crime again based on their previous experiences of the justice process while just half would attend court again, down from 67 per cent in 2020.

In addition, 66 per cent of victims told the Commissioner they had to wait too long before their case came to court and only 9 per cent thought their cases had been dealt with promptly by the courts.

Responding to the findings, Mr Matthews said: “I am dismayed on behalf of victims that the court backlog is so long, prolonging the emotional agony and delaying what is already a difficult recovery process.

“While this report does not make comfortable reading, it does nevertheless focus our attention on the urgent work needed to restore confidence in our justice system and gives us a baseline from which improvements can be measured.

“As Chair of the Criminal Justice Board for the East Midlands, I look forward to working collaboratively and constructively with all our partners to identify the pinch-points of the system and tackling them head-on. I am confident that our partners in the Criminal Justice System will rise to the challenge and address the issues highlighted with the professionalism and concern for the victims of crime that they have always shown.

“Victims must be at the heart of everything we do. Without faith in the police and the system designed to deliver justice, many vulnerable people will continue to live under the constant threat of harm which is simply unacceptable. It is imperative we work together to improve confidence and deliver tangible change.”

Around 600 victims responded to the survey and around half were from victims who reported or had their crime investigated during the pandemic.

By the end of the first quarter of 2021, there were 59,532 outstanding cases at the Crown Court – an increase of 45% on the same quarter in 2020 (41,015 cases).

ENDS

The Victims Commissioner release and report can be found here: https://victimscommissioner.org.uk/news/2021-victim-survey/

Media enquiries:  Sallie Blair 07702 541401

Posted on Thursday 9th September 2021
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