The Government will set up an Agency on Crime Victims which will incorporate services offered to victims of crimes by public agencies, while it will closely work with non-government organisations. Interior Minister Byron Camilleri stressed that crime victims need to be listened to and no one should be a victim twice.
Minister Camilleri stated that a crime victim does not only suffer from the person’s action, but also from society which many times does not listen and provide support. He was speaking during a consultation meeting in preparation for the establishment of the Agency in the coming weeks.
The Interior Minister said that the agency will in no way replace or compete with the important work carried out by NGOs and other agencies with crime victims, but will work with them hand in hand.
The agency will incorporate services by the Support Section for Victims, the Hate Crime Unit and services for victims under the department of probation and parole.
Last year, the Police received reports relating to 15,000 crime victims, many of them fraud, domestic violence, fire and theft cases. However, only some 500 persons accepted or were assisted by the Police Support Section for Victims. Inspector Sylvana Gafa’, who runs the section, said that vulnerable victims, such as domestic violence and crime on elderly persons, are the most who week assistance. Part of the police training is how to treat with victims of crime.
She added that a program of virtual means training will start shortly so that police officers will experience and are more sensitive in the way they address these situations.