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Justice for businesses as they have their say in court
MINISTERS said North-East businesses are getting a louder voice in the criminal justice system as, for the first time, they will be able to directly tell the court the full effect a crime has had on them.
Government statistics show that the North-East is the region where businesses report the highest commercial crime rate - with 23,051 incidents reported per 1000 business premises in 2012.
The North-East also has the highest incidence rate of assaults or threats being made on commercial premises.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The 2011 riots made clear that businesses can be torn apart by crime too. Small companies like those in the North-East and those I have visited today are the lifeblood of our country and deserve our full support.
"It’s only right that when hardworking people and their businesses suffer from the effects of crime, they have the opportunity to directly tell the court the impact this has had on them and their livelihood.”
The Impact Statement for Business is part of the new Victims’ Code coming into force on 10 December.
It will be made available to all businesses by the police when statements are taken about an alleged offence, and taken into account by the court prior to passing sentence. It is part of a wider package of Government support for businesses, recognising their vital role in building a strong economy.
The revised Victims’ Code was published on October 29. It sets out in plain English how to navigate an often confusing and intimidating criminal justice system, explaining what victims can expect from the moment they report a crime to the end of a trial, and who to demand help from if it is not provided.
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