chapter  5
Victims of crime WAI TO CHAN
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Victims of crime play various roles in the criminal justice process. For instance, they report offences to law enforcement agencies, provide evidence, make statements, attend identification parades in police stations and attend court as witnesses. However, in contemporary society, considerable attention has been paid to the defendant, and those persons at the receiving end of the crime (notably the crime victims) have not been given corresponding equal attention. Quite often, both the rights and interests of crime victims are neglected. In the criminal sciences literature, crime victims are rightly called ‘forgotten persons’ (United Nations, 1999a: 1; see also United Nations, 1999b). In view of the above, it seems that the victims of crime are left to fend for

themselves from statutory resources or assistance from family and/or community groups or non-governmental organisations. This chapter attempts to review the present provision of various victim programmes and to discuss the drawbacks as well as the absence of a sound philosophical basis for action.