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Covid-19: Criminal Justice System

Volume 700: debated on Thursday 16 September 2021

5. What steps the Government are taking to support the recovery of the criminal justice system since the easing of covid-19 restrictions. (903462)

I frequently meet criminal justice partners to discuss the important issue of criminal justice capacity since the covid-19 restrictions have been eased. The covid outbreak has been felt keenly by the criminal justice system. I have been proud of the resilience that the criminal justice agencies have demonstrated. There is still more to do, but both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office have been commended for their efforts during this difficult time, and I thank them for continuing to support the delivery of justice.

I support the Government’s efforts to address the recovery, and pay tribute to all those working hard across the country to make this happen, but can my right hon. and learned Friend tell me how victims are being supported so that they do not drop out of the criminal justice process due to the time lag?

I regularly meet the Director of Public Prosecutions and CPS teams around the country. I was pleased to meet CPS South West last year to learn more about its case progression and response to the pandemic. In February this year, the Government announced an additional £40 million to support victims of crime during the pandemic and beyond. Throughout this period, almost £600,000 of funding has been made available to assist helpline services, and £3 million per annum until 2022 has been committed to independent sexual violence advisers. That is a reflection of the comprehensive package of support put forward by this Government to help to build back better after the pandemic.