by Steve Beasant on September 22, 2012
An estimated 75 million people fall victim to a crime every year across the EU. The European Parliament yesterday adopted the first European-wide law on the protection of crime victims, to improve support for them.
The new EU law sets minimum standards for all 27 countries, such as free access to medical and specialist support, explanations on how foreign justice systems work, help in their own language and information on progress of their case. They will get expenses and compensation when appropriate. Specific needs must be recognised and protection orders such as injunctions for domestic violence victims must be enforced across Europe.
Welcoming the new rules, Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford said:
“The UK provisions for crime victims are already among the best in Europe and Liberal Democrat Euro-MPs have long pushed for the EU to raise the standards of other European countries. This is especially important for those millions of Brits who might fall prey to crime when travelling and then struggle with a foreign language and foreign legal system.”
“The fact that victims of crime must from now on get support when away from home will at least ease their awful experience, which is too often compounded by poor treatment by police, prosecutors and courts. A raw deal from the authorities on top of suffering the crime itself ought to become a thing of the past for Brits abroad.”