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Victim Support

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to help victims of crime in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [106594]

The Government remains committed to improving access to justice for victims of crime in Northern Ireland. A key part of this is the implementation of the Criminal Justice Review recommendations on victims which are currently being implemented.Since 1998 the Government has allocated £20 million+ to fund initiatives to support victims of the Troubles. In 2002–03 the Government will be investing funding of around £1.6 million to Victim Support Northern Ireland, an independent voluntary organisation which helps people come to terms with the experience of being a victim of crime.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will grant additional funding to victims groups who provide support to the victims of terrorist violence and who are encountering serious financial consequences as a result of a shortfall in core funding made available by the Community Relations Council. [106063]

Since 1998 this Government has allocated more than £20 million to fund victims' initiatives.More than £6 million—around 30 per cent.—of this has gone to pay the core running costs of victims' groups. This is in recognition of the valuable work that victims' groups do and I continue to press the case for more money for victims' initiatives. In allocating any further such funding that may become available I will of course have regard to this work. Equally, I must take into account the fact that many victims do not align themselves with victims' groups.