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

Badger cull protest in Oxford to be held this weekend

Oxford Mail: Badger (11754077)

6:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A protest against the culling of badgers will go through Oxford on Saturday.

‘Yes’ to plan for 24k more homes in Cherwell District Council area

Oxford Mail: Cherwell district council logo

6:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

THERE could be 24,445 new homes built across the Cherwell District Council area after councillors voted to approve modifications to the local plan.

Judge criticises CPS after trial postponement

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

6:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A JUDGE has criticised a “catastrophic failure” by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which caused a trial to be put off until next year.

Oxfordshire finds cash to meet cost of free school lunches

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

CASH to balance the books on bringing in free school meals for all primary school pupils has been secured.

High praise for Oxfordshire's fire and rescue service

Oxford Mail:

12:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S fire service has been praised following an independent peer review.

Three women sentenced for running a brothel in Jericho

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

THREE women who ran an ‘efficient and professional’ brothel in an upmarket Oxford street were sentenced yesterday.

 

 

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

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