11/03/2020 - Published by


The Peace Foundation is calling on Parliament to investigate why people affected by terrorism in Great Britain receive less support than citizens in other European states.

Today, 11 March 2020 is the European Day in Memory of the Victims of Terrorism, that was set up fifteen years ago to coincide with the anniversary of the 2004 Madrid bombings that killed 193 and injured over 2,000 people.

In Paris, President Macron will launch France’s first National Day Honoring the Victims of Terrorism and announce a series of enhanced rights of support for French victims of terrorism, Spain has adopted the rights into law, and today, the EU will set out plans for an initial seven figure Euro investment in a centre of expertise to be based in Brussels, providing support across EU member states. 

Britain will be excluded from participation and the Peace Foundation can reveal that it remains uncertain about future government grant support for the specialised GB terrorism survivors support service, even though specific assurances were given by Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland and Number 10 during the 2019 election.

The Peace Foundation was set up following the Warrington bombing 27 years ago this March.  Over 25 years of operation it has developed a unique expertise to help victims of terrorism cope and recover.  It offers a service to all in Great Britain affected by terrorism.  With over 1,599 registered beneficiaries and 541 engagements with 180 people that have been actively supported in the last year.  Victims span the ages from young children to retired adults, all who have been affected in terrorism incidents at home and abroad.

Nick Taylor, Peace Foundation Chief Executive said: “terrorism is a unique crime, not just against an individual, but against the state and they require specialist support.  We have an obligation as a society to work to prevent terrorism and to ensure when one of our fellow citizens is impacted, we provide them with that support.

“People who voted to leave the European Union will expect this Government to ensure their rights are not lost in relation to other neighbouring countries.

“The Peace Foundation has received great support from every Prime Minister: from John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Theresa May.  We are marking the European day by asking Prime Minister Johnson to commit to supporting victims of terrorism, making sure we do not fall behind other European states in our support provision, and that his Government fund the specialist support that the Peace Foundation established 25 years ago.”

The Peace Foundation is calling on Parliament to hold the Government to account to ensure that terrorism victim support matches that in other EU states, that grant funding continues to provide such a service and that the pledges made during the election are upheld.

Notes:

Today (11th March 2020) the European Commission marks the 15th European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism – an annual event to commemorate the Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004 which took the lives of 193 EU citizens and injured thousands more.

“Today, we remember all those who have lost their lives or loved ones to terror, irrespective of whether those terrorist attacks took place inside the European Union or beyond its borders. We pay tribute to all those affected by these heinous crimes, families and friends, and commit to stand united in our fight against terrorism.

The scars run deep and while they may fade with time, they will never disappear. We cannot erase those memories, but we can do our utmost to help those affected find solace.”

EU-wide rules already ensure that victims of terrorists’ attacks have the necessary support as soon as an attack has happened and for as long as they need it. This includes medical, psychological and trauma assistance as well as legal advice to seek justice. The new EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism – a hub of expertise, guidance and support – will be set up this year with €1 million already earmarked.

As of 11th March 2020, there is no certainty that the specialist support available for terrorism victims In Great Britain will be continued, even given the assurances of Government during the election.

European Commission Directive setting out requirements on member states and including the UK until our withdrawal from the EU is complete

‘Victims of terrorism have suffered attacks that are intended ultimately to harm society. They may therefore need special attention, support and protection due to the nature of the crime that has been committed against them. Victims of terrorism can be under significant public scrutiny and often need social recognition and respectful treatment by society. Member States should therefore take particular account of the needs of victims of terrorism and should seek to protect their dignity and security’.

Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (UK)

‘You are eligible for enhanced entitlements under this Code as a victim of the most serious crime if you are a close relative bereaved by criminal conduct, a victim of domestic violence, hate crime, terrorism, sexual offences, human trafficking, attempted murder, kidnap, false imprisonment, arson’ w/ harmful intent etc….’

You can find out more about the Peace Foundation work in the prevention, resolution and response to violent conflict at www.peace-foundation.org.uk

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© 2020 The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation,

the charity that works nationally and internationally to promote peace and non-violent conflict resolution.

Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation

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