UK justice system protects criminals and lets down victims, says report

Boris Johnson: Radio caller asks for ‘justice and the truth’

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Confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service was low with ­83 percent stating they have no ­confidence it can effectively prosecute a crime. In a damning indictment, one victim said: “I was failed by every service I reached out to for help. The whole process has traumatised me. “I do not trust anyone connected to the police, courts or justice system. It is disgusting. Women are treated so poorly, and the lack of legal aid ­supports abusers and criminals.

“The whole system protects ­perpetrators and not victims. Anyone connected with those systems should be ashamed of themselves.”

Only 42 percent of victims felt that they had been treated “fairly and with respect” by police, with some ­claiming officers “did not take their complaints seriously”.

The report by the Victims’ Commissioner said: “People reporting domestic violence often felt the police were unresponsive to their reports.”

And one victim told Dame Vera Baird: “I felt blamed and that they tried to lower my expectations because they didn’t want to charge him from the outset. I felt the ­evidence I provided was disregarded.”

The shocking experiences of domestic abuse victims were laid bare by the report, with some even coming face to face with their alleged attackers in court – despite protections supposedly to prevent this. One victim said: “It was terrible. I had requested a ­privacy screen and separate entrance.

“The security staff were not well informed, and I had to argue with them to be allowed in the back entrance after walking the streets ­several times at their demand.

“I was then escorted to the court room by witness protection but they were not there to collect me.

“So I was locked in the corridor for 45 minutes and the only person I came into contact with in that time was the perpetrator I should have been protected from.”

More than half of victims, 54 percent, said the process took too long.

Dame Vera said: “Time and time again, the police, CPS and other justice agencies have been found wanting, with the CPS, in particular, shown to be inconsiderate of victims’ needs.

“All too often victims are still treated as an afterthought.”

She has again urged the Government to pass a Victims’ Law to boost their rights, adding: “The time for half-measures is over.”

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