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Corporate Manslaughter

Volume 535: debated on Tuesday 8 November 2011

17. What assessment he has made of the level of support available to families of people who have been victims of corporate manslaughter; and if he will make a statement. (78970)

In England and Wales, victims of corporate manslaughter are eligible to receive the same support as victims of homicide from the national homicide service, which provides tailored and intensive one-to-one support to bereaved families for as long as they need it. Support for victims of crime in Scotland is a devolved matter.

I am very grateful to the Minister for that answer. My constituents Dorothy and Douglas Wright recently received an apology from the Director of Public Prosecutions following the failure to take corporate manslaughter action when their son Mark died. They did not get access to such a service, and their experience is that families of those who die in such circumstances do not get such access. Will the Minister consider that issue?

Of course, this is a devolved matter for the hon. Lady’s constituents in Scotland, but I am quite happy to consider the development of the whole doctrine of corporate manslaughter. It is very important that the families of those who may be corporate manslaughter victims receive the necessary support, even if a prosecution cannot be successfully secured. That means that Victim Support needs to be notified that there is a requirement of support, which is sometimes not completely clear when someone dies in circumstances that might or might not lead to an investigation or successful prosecution for corporate manslaughter. However, I am very happy to consider the matter.