MP calls for lessons to be learnt in abuse cases

MP Nicola Blackwood

MP Nicola Blackwood

First published in News
Last updated

OXFORD West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood has called for special measures for vulnerable victims to be rolled out nationally in the wake of the Rotherham sex exploitation scandal.

The politician wants pre-recorded evidence to be used across the country in trials where victims could be affected by intimidation, such as sexual abuse cases.

She was addressing Home Secretary Theresa May on the report by Professor Alexis Jay which found that at least 1,400 children had been abused in Rotherham. Speaking in the House of Common Ms Blackwood said: “Professor Jay’s report has shocked the nation and we have rightly heard many calls for prosecutions, but that relies on a criminal justice process that protects victims from the kind of intimidation and disbelief that seems to have been endemic in Rotherham.

“The Government’s pilot on pre-recorded evidence is a vital tool for protecting very vulnerable witnesses from being re-traumatised in the court process and for increasing the chances of prosecutions.” Under the provisions, vulnerable victims would be allowed to have their evidence and cross-examinations pre-recorded.

Ms Blackwood secured a change in the law which gave police officers new powers to pursue civil court orders against suspected child sex abusers – even if they cannot be prosecuted in a criminal court.

Her campaign followed Operation Bullfinch – the investigation into the grooming and abuse of young and vulnerable girls in Oxford, which led to seven men being jailed for a total of 95 years last June.

Mrs May replid: “My honourable friend is absolutely right, and I commend her for the work she did following the revelations in Oxford to help us to change the legislation to strengthen the ability to deal with such issues.

“The Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims is waiting for the full evaluation of the pilot. We would want to be able to roll it out, but it is right that we should look to ensure that we do that in the right way.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.



Our top stories

Botley Road to partially close overnight for three days for emergency repair works

Oxford Mail:

5:18pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

EMERGENCY roadworks in Botley Road will be starting tonight.

Man still fighting for life after Sandford Road bridge fall

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

4:41pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

A man was yesterday still fighting for his life in hospital after falling from a bridge and colliding with a vehicle.

Motorcyclist seriously injured in crash with car near Dorchester

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

11:44am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A MOTORCYCLIST has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a crash with a BMW.

Dismal start troubles Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Oxford United’s position in the table is now a concern for head coach Michael Appleton, who has acknow-ledged it is taking longer than expected to improve results.

Derek Measor's wife says his death tore her world apart as killer driver avoids jail

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A WIDOW whose husband was killed while cycling yesterday told a court it was the worst day of her life.

Girls get some coaching from a top GB runner

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

PUPILS at d’Overbroecks College pulled on their running shoes yesterday as 2002 Commonwealth Games 400m relay silver medallist Lesley Owusu gave them advice on how to succeed in both sport and life.

 

 

Comments

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree