David Stewart MSP

Launch of Member’s Bill to create a Commissioner for Victims’ Rights in Scotland

Scottish Labour’s David Stewart formally launched his Member’s Bill to create a Commissioner for Victims’ Rights in Scotland.
His bill was backed by Victim Support Scotland at an event at the Scottish Parliament.
At the launch Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray said:
“Labour has a proud record of defending the rights of victims, we introduced news laws that protected victims of crime giving evidence in court, we allowed victims to get their say in
sentencing and Labour now continues to stand up for victims with this bill.
“Labour will always promote victims’ rights and this Bill is a next logical step.
David Stewart, the Bill’s proposer said:
“Crime affects all our communities across Scotland. It blights families and damages lives and causes some of the most vulnerable members of our community to live in fear.
“Prisoners in Scotland have their own Commissioner – it’s time that victims of crime had someone to speak for them.
“I hope that my Bill will go a long way to helping to address this imbalance.”
Labour has been backed by Victim Support Scotland, Ron Daniel, the National Chair of Victim Support Scotland said:
“We believe, given out vast experience of dealing with hundreds of thousands of victims and witnesses of crime over the past 25 years that such a post is justified. We do acknowledge the considerable advances made within the criminal justice system in Scotland which do place victims closer to the heart of that system. The appointment of a Victims’ Commissioner would be a further step along that path.”
Importantly, the Bill is being backed by victims of crime.
Anita* (see notes), who attended today’s launch spoke of being attacked by her husband and said that she hoped that a commissioner could be introduced.
She said:
“Without the assistance of Victim Support Scotland I would never have been able to cope. They have been there for me when I needed them and have helped me rebuild my life and that of my family.
“Even so, there are issues which I encountered along the way which do need to be addressed and which need the attention of someone dedicated to championing victims’ rights. That is why a Victims’ Commissioner should be appointed.
“After all, there is a Commissioner to represent the interests of children and young people so why not one to develop and build more rights for the victims of crime.”

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Written by davidstewart

May 7, 2009 at 10:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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