Ron Hogg has joined fellow Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across the country, calling on Health Minister Jeremy Hunt to scrap the fee charged to domestic abuse victims seeking legal aid.
Due to recent legislation changes, domestic abuse victims now have to apply for legal aid.
However to qualify for support they need to provide specific evidence to prove that they have been subjected to such abuse. One of the accepted forms of evidence is a letter from a GP – a letter that some GPs are charging fees to provide.
The concerns have been raised in a letter which has been co-signed by 16 PCCs across the country. As a signatory to the “scrap the fee” campaign, Ron is calling for fair treatment for abuse victims.
Ron said: “I firmly believe that the victim should always be put first, and those suffering from domestic abuse are already incredibly vulnerable. We should be taking action to help them, not demanding payment for a letter they need to access justice.
“In my view, help for victims of domestic violence should never come at a price.”
As well as writing to Jeremy Hunt, the 16 PCCs have also written to Justice Secretary Liz Truss to urge her to scrap the need for the letter altogether.
Not all GPs apply these charges, and the amounts being charged vary. But to ensure that victims receive a consistent, equitable, and fair service across the UK, the campaign is calling for the service to be provided under the NHS so the fees are abolished.
Notes to editors:
Posted on Monday 6th February 2017