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Improved support for crime victims and witnesses

Improved support for crime victims and witnesses

Monday 18 January 2021

Improved support for crime victims and witnesses


Victims and witnesses of crimes in Jersey have been promised better support as they go through legal proceedings.

A new code setting out exactly what they can expect throughout the legal process called the 'Victims and Witnesses Charter' was unveiled yesterday by Home Affairs Minister Len Norman, alongside Attorney General Mark Temple.

It sets out 16 ‘standards of care’ for victims, including: 

  • Fair treatment by Criminal Justice Agencies
  • Support and updates following reporting a crime
  • Information access on case progression
  • Information on convictions and sentences
  • Access to an interpreter for those who do not have English as their first language
  • The ability to request the gender of your officer wherever possible
  • The option to give a statement on how the crime has affected you
  • Protection from victimisation and advice on privacy
  • Access to civil protection measures and guidance
  • Support from trained professionals
  • Special measures permitted for different circumstances
  • The ability to apply for expenses incurred attending court
  • To be advised on the return of any property seized evidentially

In addition, a service supporting victims emotionally and practically, Victims Jersey First, has been launched alongside the charter, run by care co-ordinators and volunteers, helping people regardless of whether there is police involvement.

 

Video: An animation has been created to advise child victims on the support offered too.

At the launch, Constable Norman said: “Victims and witnesses of crime deserve the upmost care and support through the events following the crime that has affected them. It takes considerable courage to step forward and seek help to recover from a painful experience. 

“It is vital victims feel validated, supported and listened to when they do so that they start to cope and recover from their crime.  

“When you contact Victim First Jersey you will speak to a member of staff, who will discuss any emotional or practical needs you may have.

“They will work together to put in place a support plan which could involves referring you to one of our specialist services or other agencies within Jersey for further support.”

len-norman.jpg

Pictured: Constable Len Norman said it was "vital" that victims feel validated when spoken to.

The Attorney General added: “The introduction of the Charter is a welcome and important initiative which will improve the experience of victims and witnesses in the Criminal Justice System in Jersey.  

“We hope it will contribute to achieving best evidence in fair prosecutions and the delivery of justice in our island.”

You can read the full charter HERE.

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