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.