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A Government bill to cement victims’ voices at the heart of the justice system has moved another step closer to becoming law.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has supported the Victims and Prisoners Bill in its development, which went through its second reading in Parliament on Monday 15 May.

The Bill proposes to ease the distress caused to rape victims while police carry out their investigations. Officers will only be allowed to request personal records from rape victims when strictly necessary in future.

The Bill would also give the Justice Secretary powers to block the release of the most dangerous prisoners, and introduce a new independent public advocate (IPA) to represent the families and victims of disasters involving public authorities.

PCC John Campion said: “I am pleased to see the Victim and Prisoners Bill going through another key stage before hopefully becoming law in due course.

“As PCC, I am committed to putting victims and survivors first. Once the Bill is introduced, it will rightly, transform the experience of victims of crime by putting them front and centre of the criminal justice system.

“We know victims of rape are less likely to come forward as they may feel they are the ones under scrutiny by the police. This Bill will make much-needed changes to ensure victims are empowered to come forward so they can get the justice they deserve.

“It will also strengthen my role as Chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board, by giving me additional powers to monitor compliance of criminal justice organisations in West Mercia.”

If you are a victim of a crime, the Victim Advice Line is currently available to anyone, regardless of when the crime was committed or if the crime was never reported to the police.

Further details are available here: Victim Advice Line – Free and Confidential Support.