JUSTICE Secretary Michael Matheson has pledged to investigate options for improving support for murder victims’ families.
He spoke following a meeting with Bea Jones, the mother of Moira Jones, who was murdered in Queen’s Park in 2008.
Mrs Jones had written to Holyrood’s Justice Committee to plead for better strategies for dealing with families who have lost a loved one.
Following the meeting, the minister said he had been impressed by Mrs Jones.
Mr Matheson said: “I very much welcomed the chance to speak to Ms Jones who has been a strong campaigner on this important issue.
“This Government has a clear record in strengthening the rights of victims and witnesses and the support available to them, including creating new rights to access information about their case and publishing the Victims’ Code for Scotland, setting out clearly the rights and support available to all victims.
“As agreed at yesterday’s meeting, I have asked Scottish Government officials to meet with justice agencies and representatives from victim support organisations to discuss options for improving the support provided to victims and in particular those affected by homicide.”
As told in the Evening Times, Mrs Jones’s letter to the Justice Committee explained that in England, families are given a dedicated Homicide Case Worker [HCW].
Mrs Jones, who founded The Moira Fund in her daughter’s honour, would like to see a similar service in Scotland.
She said: “Mr Matheson was a very good listener and he did seem to take what I was saying on board.
“I feel hopeful after meeting him that something positive will come from it and changes will be made.”
As well as campaigning for better support for murder victims’ families, Mrs Jones has also campaigned for tighter criminal checks on people coming in to the UK.
Moira, 40, was killed by a Slovakian national who was later found to have 13 previous criminal convictions.
Mrs Jones has met with three Home Secretaries, spoken at the Hague and given evidence to the SOMEC (Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals) project.
The Moira Fund provides support for victims’ families.