To mark National Stalking Awareness Week, and to raise awareness about the psychological trauma this crime causes, BBC news presenter Alex Lovell has spoken out about her experience. The BBC Points West anchor suffered years of unwanted and increasingly menacing attention from a viewer, Gordon Hawthorn. The 69-year-old was jailed in January for his six-year stalking campaign, which left Alex feeling "frightened and watched". It all started with greetings cards arriving at the BBC in Bristol, in 2013, filled with filthy fantasies and signed "Gordon". They were usually innocent looking, featuring fluffy animals.
More than 90 percent of child abuse and sexual crime victims and their families didn't receive compensation from their assailants, nor public financial assistance, largely due to the lack of awareness on the consultation services available, police data showed Thursday. The National Police Agency analyzed the answers of 917 respondents who said they were crime victims -- as well as family members of victims -- in an online survey conducted between Jan. 19 and 28 that focused on men and women aged 20 or older. The survey, conducted with the aim of following up with past victims and incorporating their experiences into national policies, covered six types of crimes; violent crimes including murder and assault, sexual crimes, traffic incidents, domestic violence, stalking, and child abuse. According to the data, the proportion of victims who didn't receive compensation or financial aid stood at 94.2 percent in child abuse cases, followed by sexual crimes at 92.9 percent, domestic violence at 91.1 percent and stalking at 90.2 percent. The state provides lump sum benefits for bereaved families of victims, or those who were seriously injured or disabled in criminal cases.
Thousands of reported crimes are not being recorded by West Midlands Police, a watchdog has said. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said victims could be at more risk of harm because of the shortcomings. It said that 83.8% of reported offences were recorded but at least 38,800 each year were not. The force said it would improve its recording processes but challenged key parts of the assessment. Unrecorded crimes included sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape, the report said.
Police in England and Wales must tackle "significant problems" in handling hate crime ahead of a possible rise in such offences after Brexit, a watchdog says. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary found inadequate responses in 89 of 180 cases it reviewed. The watchdog said it took an average of five days for police to visit 73 victims, while 65 were not seen at all. It said hate crime rose after the 2016 referendum and the same could happen when the UK leaves the EU in 2019. The report said: "Police forces should prepare for this eventuality and make sure that the recommendations in this report are used in the future to improve the police response to hate crime victims."
A major Japanese group for crime victims and their families was disbanded Sunday after 18 years of activities. The National Association of Crime Victims and Surviving Families (NAVS), held its final gathering in Tokyo, bringing together some 210 people, including 60 members and Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa. NAVS, set up in 2000, worked for the establishment of the basic law on crime victims and the launch of a system allowing crime victims to participate in trials. The association decided on the dissolution because of the aging of its members and an improvement in the environment surrounding crime victims and their families. "NAVS has finished playing its role, while new victims are created," founder Isao Okamura, 89, said.