Only one in seven victims gets to tell a court how the crime has affected them

ONLY one in seven crime victims is being given the chance to have their voice heard in court.

Most are “robbed of the opportunity to have a say” at how an offence has affected their lives, according to Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird.

Only one in seven crime victims is allowed to speak about the impact the offence had on their lives
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Under a 2013 law people in England and Wales should be given the opportunity by police to make a statement to court.

But Dame Vera’s report found just 14 per cent had their say in 2018-19, down from 17 per cent two years earlier.

Of those who did get the chance, just over half took it up.

But the statements were rarely read out in open court.

And less than half of those who did get to make a victim’s personal statement felt their words were taken into account at sentencing — down from three quarters two years ago.

Dame Vera said: “These figures are disappointing.”

It emerged last month that a killer driver was allowed to stop the heartbreaking words of his four-year-old victim’s parents being heard in full — to spare his feelings.

Aidan McAteer’s barrister objected as he was jailed for mowing down Violet-Grace Youens in a speeding car on Merseyside.

Dame Vera Baird said the disappointing figures show the majority are not given the chance to make a VPS
PA:Press Association



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