Figures show 75 million people are victims of crime across the EU

Ireland has yet to enact an EU directive on crime victims' rights

Crime, EU, helpline, victims, gardai, support, EU Directive, Crime Victims Rights

An unidentified female suspect in handcuffs | Image: Martin Mejia / AP/Press Association Images

It is estimated that 75 million people become victims of crime every year across the European Union each year.

Over the last 12 months in Ireland, according to the most recent crime figures available, there were approximately 140,000 of these reported to the gardaí.

These figures include homicides, assaults, sexual assaults, burglaries, robberies and theft.

The Crime Victims Helpline says: "Victims of crime do not just have to cope with a shocking event in their lives, and with possible injuries to their person, but they also find themselves involved in a prolonged process in the criminal justice system".

"For most people this is a first time experience, and they quickly find that they do not understand how the system works, or what their role is within it".

Last November, all EU member states were to have transferred the EU Directive on Crime Victims' Rights into domestic law.

The directive establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.

However, Ireland has yet to enact the directive.

"It is our hope that by the next EU Day for Victims of Crime we can say that Ireland has fulfilled their obligation to victims of crime by passing legislation that will put their rights, support, and protections into law," the helpline says.

It adds that one of the biggest problems that people face is the slow pace at which the justice system operates, and this adds to the stress that they feel.

"Every day on the helpline we hear about peoples' sense of fear, isolation, frustration, even despair, as a result of becoming a victim of crime".

The helpline offers support for people to talk about what has happened, to discuss difficulties they have and to access support locally.

The National Helpline number is 116 006 - the number for texts is 085 133 7711 - or e-mail [email protected]