Source: (2003) Publication Series No. 39. Helsinki, Finland: European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI). Downloaded 7 March 2005.
Policies to reduce crime – even based on what is effective – will never totally eliminate crime and so it will always be necessary to assist victims to recover from their losses, foster closure to their trauma, and ensure respect for their interests by law enforcement and criminal justice professionals.
Justice services must operate even for the victim. Support, reparation and information must be available to victims. Increasingly, specialised commissions and even legislators recognise what must be done, but much more is needed to go from this rhetoric to real action.
Most national constitutions guarantee basic human rights for suspects and convicted offenders. Citizens suspected of offending cannot be deprived of their liberty by the government without being advised and defended by a lawyer in front of an independent court.
Yet obvious rights for a person victimized by crime are not guaranteed such as the right to:
— reasonable protection from criminal acts;
–redress for pain, loss and injury inflicted by crime
–dignity, respect and a fair deal from police, courts and correctional authorities (CCSD, 1981) (excerpt)
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