01 December 2020
Victims continue to be let down in the criminal justice system
Hardly a day goes by without a news report highlighting the issues faced by victims of crime in their pursuit of justice. It seems to be the case more and more that the police, (whose job, let us not forget, is to investigate and bring culprits to justice), too frequently undertake an investigation that is inadequate and leaves the victims facing excuses that a case will not proceed as the time needed to be invested would not be proportionate. In addition, a complete lack of appropriate police resources, leaves many investigations curtailed early. If you are the victim of a criminal act, it is little comfort to be told by the police that they treat you seriously, but at the same time that they do not have the resources to help you.
Should you believe the police have taken the quick and easy way out to abandon a case, you may well be correct. You may be told that there was not enough evidence to proceed in order to try to pacify you but the reality may be very different and this excuse may hide serious flaws in the criminal justice system. Recent case law now assists us all in understanding better the requirements of a proper and fair investigation and to that end, where questions are left hanging and the closure of a case investigation leaves you feeling that something is not fair and justice has not served you, again you may well be right.
Jonothan Moss, senior solicitor at B P Collins, Gerrards Cross has been holding the police and CPS to account for failings in cases for over 30 years. He believes now more than ever, that victims are not being properly served. He is keen for all victims to be aware that just because the police or CPS say that is the end, the reality may be very different. Jonothan believes that a careful review of the initial decision made by the authorities and holding them to account where appropriate, can lead to a very different outcome in the end.