§ 21. Mr. Blizzard
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the support his Department is giving to the victims of crime. 
§ Hilary Benn
I am committed to improving services and support to victims of crime. That is why we have more than doubled the annual grant to Victim Support since May 1997, increased the total amount awarded by the criminal injuries compensation scheme, and delivered new services such as witness support in magistrates courts, and a national telephone helpline.
A review of the 1996 Victim's Charter is well advanced. A Bill of Rights for victims and the establishment of a Victims' Ombudsman and Commissioner are under active consideration. I am also taking forward work on setting up a Victims Advisory Panel to enable me to hear, directly and regularly, of the concerns of victims of crime.