Crime: Victims

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to prevent victims of crime from becoming offenders.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring victims receive the right support at the right time, to help them cope and recover in the aftermath of crime, and to break the cycles of both victimisation and offending. We recognise that many individuals may have experience as both a victim and an offender and are working to better address this.

For example, we have included a requirement for reachable moment interventions within the Homicide Service. Reachable moments are events or circumstances in an individual’s life which can lead to positive behavioural change. These moments of intense crisis, in this instance the trauma of being bereaved by homicide, can act as a catalyst for change. This provides a cue for services to act, to address underlying vulnerabilities, to support individuals to cope and recover, and reduce the risk of involvement in serious violence going forward. We are also piloting an extension of the service to those that witness murder or manslaughter in London, to address the trauma they have experienced. We know that unresolved trauma can have a huge impact on victim and witnesses’ lives, who may go on to offend, repeating this cycle.

The MoJ has also committed to a number of other pilots to address this issue, including support for young people with experience of victimisation in a youth offending institution, in order to address the underlying complex needs they face, and to divert them away from re-offending upon release. Also, piloting a victim pathway for female offenders who are victims of crime, supporting them to cope and recover, to again reduce re-offending.

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