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Victims Services (London)

Volume 570: debated on Tuesday 12 November 2013

More money than ever before is being made available for services to support victims of crime, with a potential total budget of up to £100 million—double the Ministry of Justice’s current spending of around £50 million. That means that more will be spent on victims of crime in London, with the Mayor of London making decisions on how the majority of the money will be spent.

The figures I have from the Mayor of London show that victims in my constituency and across London will receive a 40% cut in victim support. Will the Minister agree to a capital city uplift so that my constituents are not disadvantaged?

It is simply not the case that there will be cuts in funding to London. As I have said, nationally, we are increasing funding considerably. Our current estimate is that, under the current indicative budget, London will receive more funding than is estimated to be spent under current Ministry of Justice funding arrangements. We are determined to continue to provide quality services to victims of crime both in London and in the rest of the country.

It is accepted that there will be more money overall but, from all the figures, it looks as if Greater London, which has more than one in four of all victims of crime and more than one in five of all crime referrals to victim support, will receive a much smaller percentage. Is the Minister willing to accept an all-party group of London MPs to put the case for victims to be funded properly?

I am always very happy to meet my right hon. Friend and London colleagues from both sides of the House. Indeed, I met the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to discuss the subject yesterday, so I am well aware of the situation. I repeat that there will be more money for London than there is under the current arrangements.

Nevertheless, my right hon. Friend will be aware that victims of crime in North Yorkshire will receive £166 per head, but that victims of crime in London will receive only £24 per head. The fact is that £3 million extra is required to change that anomaly. Will he agree to an uplift for the capital, rather than victimising the victims?

I reject the thought that victims are being victimised. I can only repeat that, in London, as in the rest of the country, victims of crime will have more spent on the services available to them under our new system than under the current one. I would have hoped that London Members welcomed that increase.