By going through the existing Directive for the Rights of Victims (DIRECTIVE 2012/29/EU) and also by working through the Directives already in existence for the protection for consumers in the European Union we realized that these Directives have prescribed everything what is needed to protect consumers and to care for victims of fraud already for many years.
In specific in the DIRECTIVE 2012/29/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 October 2012, the Union actually attaches great importance to the protection of victims of crime (“an open and safe Europe serving and protecting its citizens”) and has accordingly adopted minimum standards for the protection of and assistance to victims.
The DIRECTIVE claims that:
- A crime constitutes an injustice to society and a violation of the victim’s individual rights.
- Victims of crime should be recognized as such and treated respectfully, empathetically and professionally.
- In all contacts with competent authorities acting within the framework of criminal proceedings and with services that come into contact with victims of crime, such as victim support services or reparation services, the personal situation and immediate needs, age, gender, possible disability and maturity of the victim of crime should be taken into account and his or her physical, mental and moral integrity respected.
- Victims of crime should be protected from secondary and repeat victimization, from intimidation and from retaliation.
- Victims of crime should receive the necessary support to cope with the consequences of the crime and sufficient access to justice.
The right to be notified of the time and place of a hearing held as a result of a report of a crime suffered by the victim should also apply to the notification of the time and place of a hearing in connection with an appeal against the judgment rendered in the case…
So everything what fraud victims actually expect from the EU authorities, has actually been written down.
The big issue is that REALITY is completely different in about all European countries.
The experiences of the approximately 1,000 victims, we represent, with the European authorities in coming to terms with the violent crime they experienced, can be summarized as follows:
- There was no respectful treatment at all by the law enforcement authorities.
- The majority of victims were turned away by local police authorities because the case has no chance of success.
- If criminal charges are filed, criminal proceedings are often not opened, citing “unknown perpetrators” and “non-traceability because abroad.” (Example enclosed).
- Inquiries to the authorities about the status of the proceedings by the victims or also the victims’ organizations are perceived as harassment and no response is made.
- The majority of victims have not been informed in any way about their rights as victims (with reference to legal provisions) or even about the possibility of participating in criminal proceedings; often it seems rather that they are perceived as a “disturbing factor”.
- The possibility to inspect the criminal file is either not communicated to the victims or even sometimes denied, and there is no possibility of reviewing the authorities’ presented negative argumentation.
- No sufficient information about the nature and consequences of the crime (e.g., that re-victimization is to be expected because the customer lists are sold to so-called recovery companies.) and thus no protection against further harm by the accused.
We send out out final letter (request for the start of infringement procedures for not properly implementing the Victims` Rights Directive) (English version and German version) to Mr Didier Reynder,s the European Commissioner in charge of justice and consumer protection ([email protected]) as well as to Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission ([email protected]). We will report about any feed back.
We ask you also to send the letter to the same addresses or to whomever you think it is appropriate.
We also ask any victims who have to file a criminal complaint in their countries and are treated like bothering the authorities, pls provide them with a copy of the Directicve and ask for proper behaviour in line with the Directive. You can download the Victims`Rights Directive here in your language.