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YP Comment: Scales of justice favour criminals

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IT is 15 years – and seven Home Secretaries – since Tony Blair promised to put victims “at the heart” of the criminal justice system. Yet, despite the efforts of a succession of ministers from David Blunkett to Theresa May and Amber Rudd, there remain many instances when the human impact of serious offences is downplayed or, worse still, ignored by the courts.

Yet, despite the efforts of a succession of ministers from David Blunkett to Theresa May and Amber Rudd, there remain many instances when the human impact of serious offences is downplayed or, worse still, ignored by the courts.

Victims Commissioner Helen Newlove knows this from harrowing personal experience – her husband Garry was beaten to death by a gang vandalising his car a decade ago. When she says there needs to be legislation compelling magistrates and judges to allow victims to address the court, the Government should act.

Though not all families may wish to do so, just 15 per cent were given the invitation to do so in 2015-16 – further proof that the scales of justice are still tipped in favour of criminals, and the litany of excuses that they put forward, rather than the lifetime of torment inflicted upon their victims.