DOMINIC RAAB: Our justice system MUST do better

DOMINIC RAAB: Our justice system MUST do better… That’s why I am announcing an increase in the victim surcharge and moves to make sure the voice and pain of victims inspires us to improve

It is shocking that three in five victims don’t report their crimes and a third drop out of a prosecution before justice is done.

That is soul-destroying: they just don’t feel that their voices matter. I am determined to show that they do.

Victims expect firm justice, so this Conservative government – opposed by Labour and the Lib Dems – has passed into law tougher prison sentences for violent and sexual offenders.

But punishment isn’t enough.

Writing for the Daily Mail today, Justice Secretary Dominic Rabb said: 'Victims expect firm justice, so this Conservative government ¿ opposed by Labour and the Lib Dems ¿ has passed into law tougher prison sentences for violent and sexual offenders'

Writing for the Daily Mail today, Justice Secretary Dominic Rabb said: ‘Victims expect firm justice, so this Conservative government – opposed by Labour and the Lib Dems – has passed into law tougher prison sentences for violent and sexual offenders’

Justice secretary Dominic Rabb, pictured outside 10 Downing Street, will announce a 20 per cent increase in the victim surcharge paid by offenders in court

Justice secretary Dominic Rabb, pictured outside 10 Downing Street, will announce a 20 per cent increase in the victim surcharge paid by offenders in court

Victims must be compensated more for their suffering – by their assailants.

So, today, I am announcing an increase in the victim surcharge, levied by courts on offenders, of 20 per cent.

It will pay millions more in cash for support services that directly help victims.

Overall, this Conservative government is increasing by fourfold the funding for victims compared with the miserly amount allocated under Labour.

In the final year of the Labour government, the party spent £41million on victims. We’ll spend £185million by 2024-25.

Next, I want to make sure the voice and pain of victims fires up our justice system to do better.

So, under our Victims Bill and broader package, published today, there will be a commitment for prosecutors to meet victims in the most serious cases before going to trial. It’s the right thing to do morally.

And, operationally, reinforcing the confidence of victims to come forward will increase the number of dangerous perpetrators we can convict and jail – making our neighbourhoods safer.

Victims’ confidence is also rocked when they see dangerous offenders released too early.

The views of victims matter. The ordeals they’ve suffered matter.

So, for the first time, we will change the law to ensure victims have the right – only if they feel up to it – to attend Parole Board hearings and put their questions to the decision-makers.

Labour voted against tougher sentences for child murderers and sex offenders, voted against boosting police funding and penny-pinched the victims of crime.

In the teeth of their spineless opposition, we’re delivering a Conservative plan to help victims secure justice, lock up more dangerous criminals – and make our streets safer.

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