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Bid to set up victims' law

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Tuesday 7th January 2014
Dan Jarvis MP
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Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis will work with a former director of public prosecution on introducing the first victims' law.

 

Mr Jarvis, shadow victims minister, has revealed former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer will head up a Victims' Taskforce to bring forward proposals for the new law, which will be set out in a draft bill before the 2015 general election.

 

It will give victims of crime new entitlements to minimum standards of service, as well as the ability to hold those services to account when standards are not met. It's also likely to include a new right to be kept fully informed of progress in the investigation of crimes, new protections for vulnerable victims facing cross-examination, and the ability to demand a single point of contact, rather than being passed from pillar to post.

 

Mr Jarvis said the justice system was failing too many victims, who needed clear accessible support. "I know from talking to Barnsley residents the real difference a victims' law could make – whether it's keeping you updated with the progress of your prosecution, or providing additional support when it comes to court.

 

"Being the victim of a crime can make normally capable people feel extremely vulnerable. We need to ensure that the justice system supports them through this difficult time and doesn't leave them in the dark."

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