HC Deb 18 January 1999 vol 323 c330W
34. Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the support provided by his Department for victims of crime. [64383]

Mr. Boateng

The Home Office provides a grant of £12.7 million to the voluntary organisation, Victim Support, to deliver front line services to victims of crime. In 1997–98 such services were offered to more than 1.1 million victims. In 1998–99, a grant was given for the first time to another voluntary organisation, Support After Murder and Manslaughter, to assist the complementary work it carries out with the relatives and friends of homicide victims. In addition, the Home Office produces and distributes an information pack for the friends and relatives of homicide victims and a number of information leaflets for victims and witnesses.

The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill, which was introduced on 3 December 1998, will provide greater protection for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses, including victims, and assist them to give their best evidence. The measures in the Bill are based on the recommendations in the "Speaking Up for Justice" report which was published last year. The Government have established an inter-departmental group to take forward the implementation of the recommendations in the report, including the measures in the Bill.