For too long victims of crime have lacked confidence in our criminal justice system. Under the next Labour government, that will change.
There have been many unfortunate examples of innocent people being let down by the justice system – from the father of Milly Dowler being treated in court like a criminal to the families of the Hillsborough victims who have waited too long for justice. There has to be a better way to ensure victims’ rights are properly protected.
All victims of crime need proper support and this can range from somebody who has had their wallet stolen in the street to a victim of sexual violence who lacks the confidence to report the assault.
The Tory-led government in Westminster isn’t interested in standing up for victims of crime. How could it be when it left the position of Victims Commissioner vacant for over a year?
That’s why the next Labour government will introduce England & Wales’s first victims’ law. This would transform the way our criminal justice system treats victims and witnesses, guaranteeing victims of crime the ability to hold those responsible to account, and ensuring greater compassion and support in the system.
As part of this commitment, Ed Miliband and Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan have established Labour’s Victims’ Taskforce to look at the detail of what this law should include. The members of the taskforce include Baroness Doreen Lawrence, who led the campaign for justice for her son Stephen, and former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Keir Stammer QC. I’m confident they will make excellent recommendations that will make a real difference to people in Wyre Forest. But people in Wyre Forest will have their own contribution to make. No matter what your experience of the justice system, I’d like to hear what you think should be included in a future victims’ law. If you have any views please let me know on Mail@matt4wyreforest.co.uk
I know that local people want a government that stands up for victims of crime. With your help, the next Labour government will be able to deliver a justice system fit for innocent victims and witnesses.
Dr Matt Lamb, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Wyre Forest.