The Victims and Prisoners Bill was before the House of Commons for its Second Reading, so Kevin took the chance to speak about issues affecting victims of crime here in our bay and his support for the implementation of an Independent Public Advocate.
The bill can essentially be broken down into 3 broad areas:
1. Victims of crime
2. Victims of major incidents
3. Measures relating to Prisoners and parole
Every crime has a victim, be it a person, company, wider society or the taxpayer. Clause 1 of the Bill would establish a statutory definition of ‘victim’, helping bring clarity to who is being referred to. Kevin also welcomed the move to include bereaved families, children who have witnessed domestic abuse and children born of rape in the definition of a victim, following pre-legislative scrutiny.
Alongside defining what a victim is, the bill will also see the principles of the Victims’ Code enshrined in law.
The second key area of the bill is the move to support those who are victims of major incidents by creating an Independent Public Advocate. The origin of these changes coming from the appalling treatment and systemic failures of the justice system experienced by the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster and their families.
The bill received its Second Reading unopposed and will now proceed to the Committee Stage.