Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Victim's Rights

The recent Milly Dowler case, and the ordeal the bereaved family were put through, has resulted in a call from the Government's 'Victims Czar', Louse Casey, to change the way the justice system operates to give rights to the bereaved.

What has this got to do with cycling, you may wonder. It's this:

Casey said:

the law in England and Wales must recognise the situation that families found themselves in when a loved one had been the victim of murder, manslaughter or a road death caused by criminal behaviour ...a "victim's law" could ensure that the criminal justice system protected the interests of families, such as through guaranteed meetings with prosecutors at critical stages of the legal process.
(my emphasis)

While the bereaved families of road death victims are seldom under suspicion, they share with families like the Dowlers a deep dissatisfaction with the way the justice system operates. Inappropriate charges, lenient sentencing, sloppy police work and a general tendency to treat road deaths as collateral damage are sadly typical of the victim's experience. It's worth noting that road deaths outnumber murders by 4 to 1. Theresa May must not be allowed to wriggle out of her responsibility to all victims, because there are the dark forces of the roads lobby for whom the current system works very well. It suits motor manufacturers, oil companies and others for road deaths to continue to be treated as much as possible as tragic accidents rather than criminal acts.

1 comment:

  1. Amy Aeron-Thomas, Executive Director at RoadPeace gave a presentation at Street Talks this month on the traffic justice and the unfairness inherent in the way road crashes are dealt with, it’s available here: