Drawing on a wealth of local, national and international sources, unpublished documents and original research, this book provides a theoretical and practical critique of victimology. The authors outline and discuss the issues facing victims today and address the fundamental question: How can we best ensure justice for victims, while at the same time preserving the rights of defendants? The search for answers raises other key questions: What are the risks of crime and do they vary from country to country? What is the impact of crime on the victim? How are victims treated by police, welfare agencies and courts? Why have governments become interested in victims? Can we learn from the experiences of policies in other nations? H
Victims, Courts and Compensation
As we noted in Chapter 2, the fact that only a minority of crime is reported to the police combined with low detection rates for reported crime means that only a small proportion of victims face the possibility of a court appearance. Where a suspect has been identified, victims may be informed or (less likely) involved in police or prosecutor decisions on whether to proceed with the case. Where they are not required as witnesses they may be informed of the date of the trial and/or the outcome and invited to make claims for compensation. Where the offender is not caught the victim is sometimes – usually only for some crimes involving physical injury – able to claim ...