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Crime: Victims

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps are being taken to ensure that victims of crime will not have their case prejudiced by the delays in the Court system due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

It is essential that our justice system continues to operate despite these unprecedented circumstances. We have been working closely with our criminal justice partners to develop arrangements, which have been adapted and amended to take into account government advice, so that hearings to continue, where possible. This includes prioritising urgent hearings and increasing the capacity to conduct remote hearings.

We are also working with the judiciary to ensure that physical hearings can take place safely and in accordance with advice on social distancing and, if necessary, cases can be adjourned to maximise safety.

However, in this time of uncertainty, we know that victims will need extra support. That is why we are working closely with Police and Crime Commissioners and nationally commissioned support services to ensure that contingency arrangements are in place to allow continuity of support services in all areas, with a special focus on supporting victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

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