Jonothan Moss, Principal Lawyer in B P Collins’ dispute resolution team, is concerned about the rise in the number of crime victims who are refusing to attend court to provide evidence, due to the length of time cases are taking to reach court.

Jonothan says: “It’s hardly surprising that a victim of a crime has no interest in giving evidence three or more years after an offence. The delays are, in many cases, due to a lack of resources in the investigation stage and further aggravated by the current delays in the criminal courts.”

Jonothan also highlights the issues faced by victims, whose cases don’t even end up in a criminal court. He explains:

“These are the victims of crime who are advised by the police that their case, which has caused them harm, will not proceed either due to a lack of evidence or the investigation will take a disproportionate amount of very limited resources to solve. When victims receive these “justifications”, many accept that the police decision is final and that nothing further can be done.. They are usually left with a deep sense of unfairness and injustice, and in many cases find it harder to move forward. This situation  often leaves the offenders free to continue their crimes, leading, in many cases, to more victims down the line.”

Having challenged police decisions for 20 years, Jonothan has been successful in setting aside initial decisions by the police. A careful legal review may quickly discover that the reasons given are inappropriate or simply wrong. One such example is where the police simply do not understand the law and misapply it. Another is where the police will say there is no evidence, but the reality is that an inadequate or no investigation has been conducted.

On a more positive note, there may be options available to victims of crime when the police advise that nothing can be done for them. It really is worth considering obtaining expert legal advice to ascertain if the decision by the police is correct; and if it isn’t, whether a potential review and escalation could be justified.

In the event that the issues in this article are relevant to you, then please contact Jonothan by sending an email to or call 01753 889995

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Jonothan Moss
Principal Lawyer

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