Posts Tagged ‘Sally Gimson’

Victims’ rights: better but not good enough

27/09/2011, 03:00:33 PM

by Sally Gimson

Jenny Chapman and Jacqui Smith recognize, in their contribution, Cutting Crime and Building Confidence, in The Purple Book Cutting Crime and Building Confidence that victims need far greater power within the criminal justice system.

Understanding what it was like to be affected by crime helped make criminal justice a Labour issue. It was one of the big achievements of our 13 years in power.

As Chapman and Smith point out, Labour recognised that crime was a social problem which affects the poorest most. “Those,” they argue, “with the least clout and power suffer most from crime and antisocial behaviour”.

And it was these issues that Labour concentrated on, introducing anti-social behaviour orders and putting police officers back on the streets with a remit to report back to local people.

Neighbourhood policing teams were introduced in every area of the country and a policing pledge, now scrapped by the Tory-led government, laid down minimum standards such as targets for responses to 999 calls and monthly “beat meetings”.

Labour home and justice secretaries also boosted victims’ rights,  introducing a victims’ code and creating the post of victims commissioner, held by Louise Casey.

Chapman and Smith outline these achievements and the fall in crime which happened as a result.

But now they say Labour must go further. And that existing Labour councils can lead the way by getting local communities more involved in local policing.


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