15 February 2021
Victims of crime are being treated unfairly by the system
Jonothan Moss, senior solicitor in our dispute resolution team, continues to see an increase in the number of victims of crime approaching him after they’ve been treated unfairly by the police. Being the victim of a crime can be very stressful and often coincides with a low point in your life. These are the very reasons why victims require support from the police and should have a thorough and fair investigation of the crime that has caused them such distress.
Jonothan has noted, when reviewing decisions not to prosecute offenders, that the police have often undertaken a sub-standard investigation. Frequently it will involve not keeping victims updated or failing in their duty of care to advise victims on actions that can be instigated to protect them from further harm. The cases that Jonothan has seen also involve the police failing to gather evidence properly at the time, including breaches of protocol such as body warn cameras not being activated and thereby vital evidence potentially being lost.
As Jonothan has emphasised in the past, the police will often say to a victim that no charges will follow given a lack of evidence. This is all too common an excuse and, in some cases, can simply mean that the police do not have sufficient resources to follow up enquiries and invest the appropriate time a case needs. Even more alarming is the fact that he has seen the reasons given by the police for discontinuing an investigation so early, has reflected a misunderstanding of the law, including investigating the wrong offences and further confusion around the rules on admissibility of evidence.
In the event that you feel the police are not properly investigating your case or you feel that the reasons given by the police to drop a case are unjustified, Jonothan is keen to hear from you and if appropriate, to dig deeper to hold the authorities to account, by reviewing the evidence and utilising the safeguards available to victims where flawed decisions are made.