Victims must be at the heart of the criminal justice system, says Labour
Victims must be at the heart of the criminal justice system, says Labour

Northumberland’s Labour group says a Labour-led Northumberland will work to reverse the closures and cuts in the justice system.

Labour Group leader Susan Dungworth said: “Years of closures and cuts to the justice system nationally means we have the lowest number of overall convictions in a decade. Victims, quite rightly, are feeling let down. The government must act to support victims and reduce the backlog.

“Convictions are at a low level for robbery, theft, criminal damage and arson as well as fraud and drug offences. Enough is enough.

“A Labour-led Northumberland will work with the police and crime commissioner and the police locally, as well as putting pressure on the government nationally to tackle this issue. Labour is serious about tackling crime and putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.

“Conservative mishandling, combined with the pandemic, created an ever-growing Crown Court backlog that is now at an all-time record high of more than 56,000 cases nationally. Rape prosecutions are at an all-time low of 1.5%. Victims are being told to wait up to four years to get their day in court – leading many to drop out entirely.”

Labour is also demanding that victims:

  • must be read their rights at the point of reporting, or otherwise as soon as possible (as with offenders)
  • have a right to regular information
  • have the right to make a personal statement to be read out at court
  • have the right to access special measures at court (eg video-links) where appropriate can review decisions for criminal cases

    Labour is also demanding that, for the first time, victims of persistent, unresolved anti-social behaviour are given support.

    Ms Dungworth added: “A vote for Labour this May is a vote to keep keep you, your family and your community safe.”

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