Queen’s Speech fails Victims of Crime

The Queens Speech yesterday highlighted this government’s commitment, or should I say, lack of commitment, to victims of crime by introducing a Bill of Rights, scrapping the Human Rights Act and failing to commit to their manifesto promise of a Victims’ Law ‘to guarantee keys entitlements to victims’. The government told us in March that a Green paper would be published by early May and yet there is no sign of it and infact, the official responsible for drawing this up has now retired!

The Human Rights Act has played an important part in my own journey as a victim of crime. When the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the prosecution against my stalker, stating that he had an absolute right to access the civil courts to continue his campaign of stalking, I was able to challenge this decision under the Human Rights Act that the CPS had failed in its duty to protect me. This landmark victory saved me a few years later when my stalker used the same tactic and thanks to the Human Rights Act , the CPS successfully prosecuted him and he was sentenced to 3.5 years. This victory has also set a precedent for other victims of stalking facing similar ordeals and is used to remind the Police and CPS of their duty to stalking victims suffering these forms of harassment.

The Human Rights Act has helped not only me but many other victims of crime. From the women raped by the ‘black cab rapist’ where under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act , Police had failed these victims in their investigation and in their treatment of them, to victims of slavery and human trafficking. Their landmark victories also establish a much needed precedent and hopefully will make the police aware of the consequences for failing to act and protect victims.

We’ve had a man sue the CPS for not taking further action against the man suspected of biting part of his ear off. The CPS felt the history of the victim’s mental illness would work against him at a trial. The CPS had wrongly discriminated this man for his mental health. The man was successful as the Human Rights Act showed that the CPS had failed in its duty to protect this man. This case, thanks to the Human Rights Act, has helped to challenge the CPS view of the model victim.

More recently, the Human Rights Act has helped, under Article 2, the families of the Hillsborough disaster, receive their long awaited justice.

The protection of victims of crime is fully entrenched in the Human Rights law and yet to abandon this and to continue to ignore the need for a Victims Law, giving victims’ legally enforceable rights, is to continually fail victims of crime and to silence their voice.

In 2014, as a knee jerk reaction to Labour’s manifesto, this government committed to a victims’ law, and they continue to assure us that ‘victims are at the heart’ of the justice system yet their actions of wanting to take away the Human Rights Act and not realising their promise of a Victims’ Law, shows us otherwise.

Our campaign team have spent the past three years meeting with countless victims of crime and we have extrapolated from their cases to formulate a Victims’ Law. These proposals have been strongly supported and strengthened by Sir Keir Starmer, this country’s lead in Human Rights . Together, we will challenge this government to make sure that we do not go backwards when it comes to Victim’s Rights and that this government leaves the Human Rights Act as it is. We will continue to push the government to spend its resources on focusing on the much needed Victims’ Law which will give Victims easy access to justice, fair treatment, the right support, up to date information, reviews and appeals and will enforce a much needed cultural shift in the way Victims are treated.

If you believe in the Victim’s voice and Victims’ Rights, then please continue to support our Victims’ Law campaign.

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