2021 Victims Survey

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Overview

Launched in the summer, the Victims’ Commissioner’s 2021 Victim Survey sought to understand victims’ priorities and gain insights into their experiences of the criminal justice system over the past three years, including during the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 600 victims completed the survey, with about half of the responses from victims who reported or had their crime investigated during the pandemic.

The findings paint a worrying picture for the justice system, with victim confidence shown to be low. Many victims expressed their disappointment with the criminal justice system, especially the court process and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Above all, the survey found that victims most want to be ‘treated well’ by the criminal justice system.

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The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird QC, said:

As this survey shows, victims want to be treated with fairness and respect by the police, for the crime to be investigated and to kept informed of the progress of the case. These are hardly arduous asks – indeed, they are very clearly rights to which victims are entitled as set out in the Victims’ Code. But time and time again, the police, CPS and other justice agencies have been found wanting, with the CPS, in particular, shown to be inconsiderate of victims’ needs. All too often victims are still treated as an afterthought – a bystander to proceedings, rather than the valued participant they should be.”

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