Male Victims of Homicide

The ITA found that men were more likely to repress their feeling and keep busy with practical tasks as an avoidance technique and were more likely to become depressed. Men often felt pressure to be the strong one and were far less likely to ask for help, their emotional needs are often overlooked in the way that Jeremy’s were. [1] Unlike today’s victims of murder, Jeremy was not put in touch with other victims who were bereaved by homicide, neither was he informed or involved with any support groups which can be a source of indispensible help. It was only a few years since Jeremy and his previous girlfriend had dealt with grief when she miscarried their baby.[2]

The report highlighted concerns that Family Liaison Officers or FLO’s are still police officers, victims often felt inhibited to talk to their FLO’s in cases where police were investigating the close family to find the perpetrator of a crime. Since the review greater concerns came to light after the account of a police officer working in a capacity as a spy gave details to the media that the family of Stephen Lawrence was spied on to discredit their fight for justice. The whistleblower named the FLO as taking down details of all visitors to the house and family members and feeding them back for intelligence agencies. In the case of Jeremy Bamber there are further concerns that by the time Jeremy had been arrested the police were not just supporting the extended family, but were providing them with information from the case out side of police regulations which later appears in their statements implicating Jeremy. These types of ‘support’ relationships are neither suitable nor ethical. Jeremy himself had never had an FLO assigned to him and there are no statements from police to suggest otherwise. It was only considered there had even been any crime or any victims when Jeremy was charged with murder. The police assigned an FLO to the people who had the most to gain from Jeremy’s conviction. These examples show that any type of Victim Support should be provided by an independent organization and not a law enforcement agency.

Victims need the opportunity to talk and have an effective outlet for anger. They need counselling for restlessness and tension or help developing coping strategies.[3] They need to be offered time to talk about anger and themselves instead of the tragedy itself. For Jeremy Bamber, media intrusion continued and a tabloid journalist invited Jeremy to tell his story to the paper. Brett Collins had advised Jeremy to go along to meet with the journalist who was offering money. After a long period of being ‘guilty’ in the news even though no charges had been brought, Jeremy wanted to tell his story. He was angry and had every right to be, Sheila Caffell had murdered his family. He was a victim and like all victims of murder felt anger and desolation, but the feelings were complex as Sheila was his sister who he had grown up with and loved his whole life. The reporter continually asked Jeremy for any pornographic photographs of Sheila, which he believed existed, and Jeremy told him there were some topless ones but these were taken casually in the garden and in the possession of Colin Caffell. Jeremy did offer some advocacy and the reporter went to the police with the story and published an article that Jeremy had offered him pornographic photographs of Sheila, which was an embellishment of the truth. Had Jeremy been offered Victim Support none of this episode would have happened. Jeremy has always been a victim of murder and it has never been recognized, not even in the early days or hours of the tragedy before any suspicion was cast.

[1] ITA, pp. 42-43

[2] ITA. Pg. 48. Statement of Sue Ford.

[3] ITA, pg. 42