Crowdfunding for justice: the Post Office Scandal
“The government should be ashamed of the injustice which has been going on for 20 years.”
“An utterly heartbreaking disgrace to British Justice.”
“I’ve followed this case for many years feeling increasingly shocked and angry on your behalf. I have always known that all you sub postmasters are innocent.”
“I want justice for my niece and her husband who've lost everything.”
“This is for all of us that have suffered for so long. Thank you to Alan for all the tireless work he has done for all of us!”
These are just a few of the comments left by Backers on the crowdfunding campaign, launched by Justice For Subpostmasters Alliance on CrowdJustice in 2020. The group raised more than £100,000 from over 1,200 people to support their legal battle.
With the release of the new four-part ITV series, Mr Bates vs The Post Office—which has already been watched by nine million viewers—the British public has now joined the Subpostmasters Alliance and their supporters in calling for justice for those impacted by the Post Office Scandal.
So what is the Post Office Scandal?
From 1999-2015, 750 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses were prosecuted for false accounting and theft based on incorrect information provided by faulty computer software called Horizon.
Some of the accused were sent to prison, while others were left in financial ruin. After years of campaigning and legal action by the victims, the courts finally allowed their cases to be reconsidered in 2019. But only 93 convictions have been overturned so far.
Despite the launch of a public inquiry in 2021, the victims are still being forced to fight for fair compensation and to have convictions overturned.
What happens next?
After the recent mass outpouring of public outrage, the government yesterday announced plans to quash the wrongful convictions and implement a compensation scheme.
Alan Bates, who inspired the recent TV drama, told the BBC that the announcement was "another positive step forward" but added: "the devil is in the detail, and we've yet to see that".
You can check out the two successful CrowdJustice crowdfunding campaigns run by Justice for the Subposters Alliance here: