Explore our policy recommendations for breaking down language barriers
in schools, adult education, and the criminal justice system.
This project will develop resources to support victims of crime.
Victim Support (VS) is an independent charity dedicated to supporting victims of crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales. They provide specialist help to support people to cope and recover. In 2017 they were in contact with over 1,035,032 victims of crime offering information, advice and support. Their local teams provided specialist emotional and practical support to 133,965 victims.
Victim Support works closely with the police, local authorities and criminal justice system, to achieve its vision – a world where victims and witnesses are given the support they need and the respect they deserve.
Despite having entitlements under the Victims’ Code, victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system are often negative. Only 52% of victims rank the police positively, compared with 64% of all adults, suggesting that being a victim may negatively affect people’s views of the police. Evidence shows that crime has a differential impact where there are language barriers, and on communities where English may not be the first language, including South Asian communities. Although the Government-commissioned review into integration suggests that poor English language skills disadvantage people through inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in public services due to a lack of communication, little is known specifically about the experience of people who speak English as an Additional Language in contact with the police and other criminal justice agencies.
By the end of the 12-month project the resources developed to support individuals in the South Asian Heritage community will be available for use across England and Wales as part of Victim Support’s “Beyond Crime” resources.