Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Witness Protection Bill

Today an emergency witness protection bill was rushed through both houses as a stopgap until the law is amended. The full story can be read here.
In some cases of antisocial behaviour as well as crime, intimidation and fear of reprisal makes it very difficult to encourage people living with ASB to officially report it to the correct authorities. It is easy to ask the public to take a stand, but more difficult to provide a service that keeps witnesses free from intimidation and threat 24 hours a day.
I have attended events where the public have been rewarded for having the courage of their convictions and have stood up to people who make their and other peoples lives a misery, but sadly, in many of those cases the recipients of the awards have had had to move for their own safety. Justice needs to be swift and punitive for offences of this type, with no social reports taken into account to ensure more lenient sentencing.
There are more tools than ever to help facilitate this, but we still need more Police and a quicker turnaround from the courts. We also need more services to offer support through this stressful time. If anyone reading this Blog needs support because of antisocial behaviour click here.

1 comment:

smurf said...

I was really worried when I heard that some high profile murder cases were stopped because of anonymity of witness's. What worried me was that people would be less likely to report crime if they knew that they would have to attend court and face the offenders.
I just hope when the powers that be do go back to trying to sort this out that they try and give every bit of help they can to the witnesses after all with out witnesses their may be no cour5t case. They should be thinking of helping them by supporting them in anyway they can to make a stressful situation as stress free as possible