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Crime victims are more active in criminal proceedings

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Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – The Probation and Mediation Service assisted 7,907 crime victims in 2017, or about 1,500 more than in 2016, which shows that victims take an active part in criminal proceedings more often, its head Andrea Matouskova said on Thursday.

“The victims seem to have more courage, more opportunities and more interest to talk about their situation and claim their rights,” she said.

“I am glad that we are getting closer to the developed countries – the victim is not reduced to its original role of primarily a piece of evidence in criminal justice anymore,” Matouskova said.

Under Czech law, the Probation and Mediation Service provides free assistance to crime victims. For example, it offers mediation of out-of-court settlement with the perpetrator, provides advice on how to claim compensation of damage and assists the victims in dealing with the authorities.

The law on crime victims took effect in the country in August 2013. The Probation and Mediation Service assisted 26,467 victims from then to the end of last year. In 2017, 5.5 percent of its clients were elderly people and 4.5 percent were children and youths.

Matouskova said assistance to victims improved also thanks to an EU-funded project within which 55 special consulting rooms were established outside the service’s offices. The assistance is now available in every district centre in the country.

The Czech police registered over 200,000 crimes last year and it solved 53.3 percent of the cases. The crime rate has been going down in the recent years.

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