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A think tank has called for making statuses of all criminal cases accessible to victims of crime via information technology to build confidence in the criminal justice system

Date: (5 June 2012)    |    

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A think tank has called for making statuses of all criminal cases accessible to victims of crime via information technology to build confidence in the criminal justice system
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) argues in its report that more information should be made available to the victims of crime in England and Wales.

The thinktank said it would be possible through online access to their cases.

It called for updates on investigations, arrests, court appearances and prison sentences made accessible to the people through their mobile phones or a secure website.

A previous survey by the Victim Support found that more than half of the victims last year who reported crimes were not updated of the proceedings.

The lack of information was the main reason people were becoming suspicious of the criminal justice system the IPPR report said.

It called for the details of crimes to be made available online as soon as they were reported to police and for the court texts to be uploaded under proper legal safeguards.

Their other recommendations included for the courts and Crown Prosecution Service to work with the local police for sharing the data, making the crime maps interactive display of real time information to help prevent and reduce crime, refer victims to online support networks and making court proceedings more accessible and transparent by publishing details online of the cases being dealt by the courts.

The report concluded by saying that the criminal justice system’s efficacy depended on the confidence of people in the system.

And such confidence among the victims could only be achieved by linking the process of criminal justice system with the information and communication technology, to give more transparency and accessibility keeping the plight of the victims at heart.
BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said several police forces were already implementing such ideas.
Last year, Avon and Somerset police set up a website called TrackMyCrime, allowing people to follow the progress of their cases. At the time, deputy chief constable Rob Beckley said that it was to keep victims informed about the status of their crime in a more streamlined and efficient way.
Meanwhile, the UK Supreme Court - which is the final court of appeal for civil cases - now publishes details online of all its cases and the judgments reached.

 

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