Following the Government statement on the Parole Board’s decision to release John Worboys, Sir Mike calls for implementation of the long-promised ‘victims law.’
As the new Lord Chancellor, my good friend, knows—I welcome him to his post—I was the victims and the police Minister in the previous Administration. One reason for that was the justice side cannot really be taken away from the police and the Crown Prosecution side. In the files on his desk will be a draft Bill for a victims law, which has cross-party support, which I believe was in both Conservative and Labour manifestos, but one of the biggest issues is what is a victim. It is obvious to us what a victim is, but in law that is often very different; so where there has not been a prosecution, victims very often will not be informed in the same way as someone whose case has been before the courts. Why the Crown Prosecution Service did not prosecute as many cases as we all know about now must be investigated as part of the review, but we must put the victim first, and a victims law would be a very good way to start.
I thank my right hon.—and very good—Friend for his comments. He is right; I believe that I do have advice on that very matter in my inbox, and I will want to look very closely at it.. He is absolutely right to say that it is important that the position of victims is properly respected. One of the first people I spoke to on taking office was Baroness Newlove, who has done some excellent work on the issue.
Jon Wedger is about to embark on a walk from London to Manchester to raise funds and awareness.