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Crime Victims

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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58.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what new initiatives are being taken by his Department to assist the victims of crime.

We propose in the Criminal Justice Bill to extend the range of cases in which compensation orders may be made, to empower the courts to order the proceeds of forfeiture orders to be paid in compensation to the victim, and to give injured victims a statutory right to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Bill would also extend measures protecting the anonymity of rape victims back to the time when the offence is committed, and enable children under 14 to give evidence by video link in cases involving a sexual offence or violent attack.We also plan to give increased financial assistance to local victims support schemes. In 1987–88, as well as continuing to provide a grant to the National Association of Victims Support Schemes, we shall make available up to £2 million to local schemes as part of a new programme of funding totalling £9 million over three years. This is intended primarily to enable schemes to employ full-time co-ordinators so that the best use can be made of volunteer resources.Advice has been offered to the police on the treatment of women who are victims of violence. A copy of the Home Office circular 69/1986, issued in October 1986, is in the Library.