The Telegraph, in London, reports that the UK Ministry of Justice has launched TrackMyCrime, an online platform intended to allow victims easier access to information about police investigations of their cases. By logging on, victims can track the progress of a police investigation and send secure messages directly to officers working on their cases. In the future, the hope is that victims will be able to follow their cases through the courts as well, and ultimately, if there is a conviction, through an offender’s imprisonment and release.
Victims, the one group of people often overlooked yet the most affected by crime are getting a voice in the UK for now – and in a relatively efficient manner. Maybe other systems should take heed. At the international level, the International Criminal Court and the various criminal tribunals and hybrid courts allow and support victims’ participation, but even there, the participation is limited to court proceedings. In the United States, victims’ interests are said to be represented by the prosecutor’s office; however, they often are not a priority, particularly for a busy, urban prosecutors office. It appears that the United Kingdom has found a reasonable middle ground – allowing victims to be part of the investigation, to be informed about the progress of their cases, to have the ability to provide information, and, perhaps most importantly, to feel involved in the process.
- David Barrett, Crime Victims Can Track Police Progress on New Website, The Telegraph (Jan. 29, 2015).