I’ve just read about the British Home Secretary’s ‘shock tactics for knife carriers’ (BBC News) and I’m very concerned. Here we have yet another policy that seems to focus entirely on the thoughts, actions, and feelings of the offender, and completely disregards the rights, thoughts, and feelings of the victim.
I am sure that stab victims will be asked if they want to participate in the scheme, but one must wonder how many will volunteer. Speaking from experience if I was in hospital recovering again, and I was asked to meet with somebody who had committed a similar offence to the one committed against me, I wouldn’t want to see that person. Where is the consideration for the victim’s sense of safety, their peace of mind?
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said seeing “gruesome” injuries would be a tougher deterrent than sending all knife carriers in England and Wales to jail.
For the victims knowing that their assailant has been taken off the streets, can’t come back and find them again, and may possibly have to suffer some loss of liberty, some inconvenience, would be far more beneficial for their recovery and healing but then maybe that would make too much sense!
This new policy really angers me, and seems to be yet another “soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime” policy from our hopeless government. I hope it fails to be enacted, and we don’t see another debacle, and further damage done to the British justice System, as we’ve seen recently with the rapid U-turn to re-establish the law that allows for anonymous witnesses (BBC News).
Some helpful links:
- Victim Support
- Criminal Justice System – Victim’s Rights
- Home Office website stating Victim’s Rights (note this webpage was created in 2005, and last updated in February as shown in the code: <meta name=“DC.Date.modified” scheme=“W3CDTF” content=“2008-02-25” /> and contains the words:
preventing contact from offenders – if you receive unwanted contact from an offender, or if you’re concerned about an offenders’ release, telephone the Prison Service Victim Helpline on 0845 7585 112
It is interesting that the text does not specify “YOUR” offender, just “AN” offender. Hopefully this means that if you are a stabbing victim and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith tries to bring an offender in to see you in hospital you can report it to the helpline listed above as unwanted contact from an offender!