Justice Minister David Ford confirmed today that a total of £473,501 additional funding has been allocated from the Victims of Crime Fund to improve support services to victims of crime.
The Victims of Crime Fund is resourced by revenue recouped from offenders through the offender levy which was introduced in June 2012.
Mr Ford said: “One of my key priorities is to improve the experience of victims and witnesses in the vital role they play in the criminal justice system. This is clearly demonstrated through the ongoing work of the five year victim and witness strategy. The Victims of Crime Fund has made a significant contribution to the positive changes already achieved for victims and witnesses through the strategy.
“In 2014-15, funding made available from the Victims of Crime Fund has meant that more victims and witnesses were assisted in giving their evidence through a Registered Intermediary; advocacy support was provided to victims through Victim Support Northern Ireland and witnesses had improved areas at court to wait until they were called to give evidence. In addition, the Fund supported the development of a Victim Information Portal; domestic violence victims benefited from the refurbishment of a Women’s Aid refuge; burglary victims were provided with crime prevention measures; and victims had access to information on their rights through the Victim Charter.”
The Minister continued: “It is right that offenders, who cause the harm and anxiety experienced by victims, make a financial contribution to bring about such improvements for the benefit of victims and witnesses.”
Notes to editors:
1. A breakdown of the revenue into the Victims of Crime Fund since its introduction in 2012 is as follows:
2.View the list of all the projects funded at the publication section.
3. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.