First Victims' Commissioner Appointed

Louise Casey has been appointed as the UK's first independent Victims' Commissioner, Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced today.

Today's announcement comes as part of a package of reforms designed to improve the support and services available to victims and witnesses.

The Victims' Commissioner will work across the criminal justice system to improve the support for victims and witnesses, including victims of anti-social behaviour.

She will also chair the new Victims Advisory Panel and working with local and national victims groups to make sure the voice of victims is fed-back to and impacts directly on Government policy.

Ms Casey will in addition be charged with reviewing the code of practice for victims of crime, which provides a guarantee to victims of crime of the level of service they are entitled to.

She said: "As anyone who knows or has worked with me, the way the criminal justice system deals with victims of crime has been something I have felt passionately about for a long while and I am very much looking forward to the challenge..

Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, said: "Victims are the most important people in the criminal justice system. We must always ensure that their voice is heard loud and clear.

"I know that Louise will be an excellent advocate for them and that she will hold the Government to account on the services and support we provide to them."

He paid tribute to the "invaluable work" of the Sara Payne.

"Her report as Victims' Champion is already helping to shape the new National Victims' Service, and I know she will continue to provide an important and tireless voice for victims. I wish her well as she continues her recovery."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 June 2004
Blunkett unveils 'tough' domestic violence Bill
The biggest overhaul of domestic violence law in 30 years, heralding "tough powers" for the police and the courts to protect victims and prosecute abusers, goes before the House of Commons today.
06 September 2011
UK 'Opts In' On Victim's Rights Law
British victims of crime will now be awarded new minimum rights after the UK signed up to a European Directive. In May the European Commission set out draft proposals for an EU Directive that would establish standard rights for EU citizens who fall victim to crime in another EU country.
26 January 2009
Sara Payne Announced As Victims' Champion
The mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne, has been announced as the new Victims' Champion. Sara Payne has agreed to take on the post,which will last one year, and act as a new independent public vote for victims of and witnesses to crime.
22 July 2003
Restorative justice will see more criminals face their victims
Proposals to extend the way that restorative justice is used could see more victims of crime, anti-social behaviour and school bullying face those who offended against them, the Home Secretary has announced today. The scheme is currently used with young offenders, but the proposals published today are set to extend its remit.
06 December 2004
Falconer pledges better deal for victims and witnesses
A better deal for victims and witnesses, with more specialist facilities in courts, was announced today by Constitutional Affairs Secretary Lord Falconer. Lord Falconer said: "The needs and safety of victims must be at the heart of the way trials are managed. Giving evidence is a nerve-racking experience, especially for victims.