Victims of crime to have say in court

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Victims of crime in South Yorkshire will have their personal statements read out in court to help judges decide on appropriate sentences.

The new Victims’ Code will be implemented nationally and was announced by Victims’ Minister Damien Green.

It will mean that via a written statement victims of crime will be able to explain to the court how a crime has affected them physically, emotionally, financially or in other ways.

The judge will then take it into account when determining the sentence.
The code aims to support victims as they go through the criminal justice system.

Mr Green said: “For too long victims have felt they are treated as an afterthought in the criminal justice system. No more. I am determined that victims are given back their voice and are fully supported.

“The new Victims’ Code will for the first time entitle victims to read their Victim Personal Statement out in court. This will mean offenders and the court can be left in no doubt of the full impact of a crime.”

Javed Khan, chief executive of charity Victim Support said: “We warmly welcome this decision.”