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Government response to Getting it Right for Witnesses and Victims

2 Jul 2012

Rape Crisis (England and Wales) welcomes the government’s decision to maintain secure and sustainable national funding to Rape Crisis Centres.  RCEW was able to state its case for retaining national funding, the Ministry of Justice has listened and the National Rape Support fund will continue, enabling Rape Crisis Centres to offer services to meet the needs of the victims of serious sexual violence. This decision reflects the government’s commitment to prioritise the needs of victims of rape and sexual violence and acknowledges the specialist nature of the support Rape Crisis Centres provide to them.

The Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced that offenders will be forced to pay up to £50 million a year to help victims recover from the trauma of serious crime. This is on top of the £66 million each year central Government already dedicates to services supporting victims and witnesses. The Government stated that victims have too often been an afterthought in the criminal justice system: ensuring that victims get the help they need to recover from crime is a priority.

The Government will move to a new commissioning model in which certain services will continue to be commissioned nationally - such as the witness service, rape support centres, and support for victims of trafficking and those bereaved by homicide - while the bulk of victims’ services will be provided by locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners. 

The Consultation response also includes a commitment to revise the Victims’ Code so that victims have improved and clearer entitlements from criminal justice agencies and giving victims a louder voice by committing to increasing the use of the Victim Personal Statement as well as restorative justice. Reforms to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme include ending payments for minor injuries and to criminals who have been sentenced to community orders or imprisoned.

Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, said: 'Victims too often feel themselves to be an afterthought for the criminal justice system. Despite improvements during the last two decades the system can still fall short. I believe these new measures will change that and provide the support victims actually need.'

To read the full consultation and the Governments response visit: