It is understandable that when cases drag on, victims grow weary – they want to recover, move on and rebuild their lives, without the ongoing reminder of the trauma and exploitation they have been through.
For over a year now, our Victim Navigators have been supporting an ongoing case involving labour exploitation in an Essex car wash. Unfortunately, this month one of the victims has decided he no longer wants to give evidence due to family commitments.
Although there is another victim willing to testify and five defendants on remand, the Crown Prosecution Service have indicated that they feel the case is too weak without the first victim and have decided to discontinue the case.
This is very frustrating and disappointing for all involved and for the second victim who remains engaged and wants justice done.
Our justice system needs to change to ensure that cases involving human trafficking are dealt with promptly and in a way that keeps the victim’s voice as the centre of the case – allowing victims time to heal, without re-traumatisation.