Priti backs new victims law in Parliamentary speech
The Witham MP, Priti Patel, has spoken in support of new laws being brought in to provide more rights and support for victims of crime, including the strengthening of the Victims’ Code and the introduction of an Independent Public Advocate to support victims and families affected by major incidents. Priti has been a longstanding campaigner for a victims’ law, introducing her own proposals to Parliament in 2011 and provided more support to victims of crime and survivors of domestic abuse during her tenure as Home Secretary.
Speaking during a debate in Parliament on 15th May, when the Victims and Prisoners Bill passed through its first Parliamentary stage, Priti commented on the impact of crime on her constituents, the work that Essex Police have undertaken to support victims of crime, and the need for the new laws to lead to meaningful benefits for victims. She also commented on how an Independent Public Advocate could help the families going through the current Essex Independent Mental Health Inquiry and the need for compensation to be secured for victims of crime.
Commenting after her speech, Priti said: “I have been campaigning throughout my time in Parliament to get new laws, rights and support in place for victims of crime. For too long, the criminal justice system and machinery of the state have failed them and the new victims’ laws being proposed will help rebalance the system and bring about much-needed institutional change.
“I have met many victims of crime who have had traumatic experiences as they have sought justice. Victims have been refused their say in court, not been given information about their cases and have not had the practical and emotional support they need. This must change and their needs and rights have to be prioritised by those working in the criminal justice system and providing services. These new laws should make a difference and I will be working with colleagues to see where these laws can be improved as the legislation is debated further in Parliament.”