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The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

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Families of murder victims to get more support

17/01/2017

Relatives of murder victims where an individual is acquitted after a trial will be offered enhanced support under a scheme launched today (17 January).

Justice After Acquittal (JAA) has worked with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police to draw up new National Standards of Support (NSS). JAA is a voluntary organisation set up to provide support to families who suffer the double trauma of the murder of a loved one and the subsequent acquittal of the alleged perpetrator.

Under the NSS, bereaved families will be offered a series of meetings with the CPS and the relevant police force. While families in these circumstances already have the chance to attend meetings soon after acquittal, they will now be offered a joint meeting with the CPS and the police following completion of their full reviews into the case.

This will provide an opportunity for the family to learn, in as much detail as possible, what might have led to the acquittal and what steps can be taken.

The NSS will be launched at a JAA event in Westminster later today, attended by Carole Longe and Ann Roberts, the founders of JAA and Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Carole Longe and Ann Roberts, the founders of Justice After Acquittal (JAA), said:
"This launch of the NSS is a culmination of 10 years of hard work by JAA, working in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police and the CPS.
"We are pleased that families will now be better supported by these agencies when they face the double trauma of an acquittal after a murder trial."

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecution at the CPS, said:

"I recognise just how difficult it is for families whose loved ones have been killed.

"The National Standards of Support provide a clear structured framework of meetings with bereaved families.  They offer an enhanced level of support - building on the support which is already offered by the police and CPS - and I welcome their introduction nationally.

"The JAA has worked tirelessly with victims' families and I want to thank them all for their efforts in ensuring the relatives of the bereaved get the support they deserve."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The launch of National Standards of Support will take place in London on Tuesday 17 January 2017.
  2. If you would like further information please contact the CPS press office on 020 3357 0906 or e-mail cps.pressoffice@cps.gsi.gov.uk
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926