The bereaved families of people murdered abroad should be better supported, a report has found.
A report prepared by the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, entitled Struggling for Justice, has laid out 17 recommendations to the UK government which would help families struggling through a foreign judicial system.
For example, the report says only police officers specifically trained should break the news of a these homicides, families should be eligible to claim Criminal Injuries Compensation and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should take responsibility for translating key documents.
Commissioner Dame Vera Baird said: “To lose a loved one to murder is a horrific and devastating experience, no matter where the crime takes place.
“However, as this report sets out, for families of people murdered abroad, there are additional financial, legal and logistical burdens.”
Murdered Abroad, a charity which helped prepare the report, said there are between 60 and 80 abroad homicide cases in this country each year on average.
A charity which works to improve the health and safety of tourists overseas, Safer Tourism Foundation, said the recommendations should extend to all families who unexpectedly lose a loved one abroad.
It said dealing with bureaucracy in an unfamiliar language, customs, practices and law, and along with added media scrutiny, makes the grieving process worse.
“Reform is long overdue, and while we support the Victim’s Commissioner’s efforts, we feel the recommendations do not go far enough,” Safer Tourism Foundation’s chief executive Katherine Atkinson said.
“Safer Tourism Foundation’s view is all families need independent emotional and financial support to guide them through the immediate aftermath of their loved one’s death abroad, tailored to their specific needs and available as long as is necessary to deal with the practicalities of bringing their family member home.”