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Sara's victim crusade

VICTIMS’ Champion Sara Payne has chalked up a victory by persuading the government to set up a new service to support vulnerable people targeted by thugs and criminals.
The move will mean those whose lives are destroyed by teenage yobs will get the same support as the families of murder victims.
Sara will this week warn hundreds of people are being pushed to suicide, citing the case of Fiona Pilkington, who set fire to herself and her disabled teenage daughter Francecca after a hate campaign.
In her first report as Victims’ Champion, Sara will call for a new Victims’ Service, which assesses people according to their vulnerability, not the seriousness of the crime.
She has the support of PM Gordon Brown, who will endorse the plan this week. Mr Brown said: “I will be renewing the government’s focus on crime.”
Justice Minister Jack Straw, who describes the scheme as “practical and sensible”, is to push a Bill through the Commons before the next election.
The new scheme will cost an estimated £8.5million a year.
The role of Sara — whose daughter Sarah, eight. was murdered by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000 — will be replaced by a statutory Victims’ Commissioner.



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