Information for Victims of Crime

Thank you for reporting the incident to the police. You can find below some details about the incident you have reported and other useful contact details.

Next steps

The police will give you information about what to expect from the criminal justice system, including information about the Victims' Code. The Victims' Code sets out the services you can expect from criminal justice agencies. The police will conduct a 'needs assessment' and will ask you any questions to establish what help and support you might need. The Victims' Code sets out your rights to make a complaint under the Victims' Code if you are unhappy with the service you receive. If you would like to read the Code in full, or to access a shorter guide to the Code, please visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-code-of-practice-for-victims-of-crime If you do not live in England or Wales, you are still entitled to the services set out in the Victims' Code if the crime took place in England or Wales, or if the services relate to criminal proceedings taking place here.

The Victim Personal Statement (VPS)

The Victims' Code entitles victims of crime to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS). The VPS helps give victims a voice in the criminal justice process. Your VPS can be read aloud in court or you can have it read on your behalf if the defendant is found guilty. To find out more, visit: www.gov.uk/government.publications/victim-personal-statement If you agree, the police will pass your details on to an organisation that provides services to victims of crime. In the majority of cases, your details will be passed on to a local support service. You can also contact these services directly if you would like support following a crime. To find out more, visit: www.victimsinformationservice.org.uk or phone 0808 168 9293.

Working together with the police to investigate your crime

To help the police investigate your crime, you should let them know:

Protection against harassment or intimidation

If you, or others close to you, are harassed or threatened in any way during an investigation or a trial, you should contact the police immediately. If the accused is bailed, the court may impose a condition preventing the accused from making any contact with a named person or persons. You could also apply to court to get an injunction against the accused if you think it's likely that he or she will harass you. If the accused is convicted or acquitted, the criminal court can issue a restraining order. In addition, protection for victims and witnesses against witness intimidation extends for up to a year after the end of a trial.

Criminal charges

In some cases if someone is arrested and charged, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to prosecute or not and whether to take your case to court. To find out more about the CPS, visit: www.cps.gov.uk or call 0203 357 0000. The joint police/CPS Witness Care Unit will provide you with a single point of contact after the point of charge about the progress of your case, including the date of hearing. They can also give information on claiming expenses for attending court, including travel, pre-trial visits, allowances for meals, loss of wages and child care. To find out more, visit: www.cps.gov.uk/news/fact_sheets/witness_care_units/

Going to court as a witness: Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS)

HMCTS is responsible for running all of the courts. To find out more visit: www.gov.uk/going-to-court-victim-witness/help-getting-to-the-court

The Witness Charter

The Witness Charter sets out the standards of care you can expect if you are a witness to a crime or incident in England and Wales. The Charter is available online at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-witness-charter-standards-of-care-for-witnesses-in-the-criminal-justice-system. There is a 'Going to Court'- A Step by Step Guide to Being a Witness' DVD which explains what happens at court. This can be viewed online at: www.gov.uk/going-to-court-victim-witness In addition HMCTS has a 'You are a Prosecution Witness' leaflet on services and facilities available at individual Crown and Magistrates' Courts. This can also be viewed online at: https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/

The Witness Service

The Witness Service is run by Citizens Advice and helps victims and witnesses attending court. They are trained staff and volunteers who you can talk to about what to expect before going to court during a pre-trial visit, and who are also present to support you at court. The Witness Service cannot discuss the case or the contents of your evidence with you. To find out more, visit: www.adviceguide.org.uk or call 0300 332 1000

Compensation

If you have been a blameless victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You can apply online at www.gov.uk. If you need help to complete an application by telephone contact that CICA Customer Service Centre advisors on 0300 003 3601. You can apply for compensation whether someone has been prosecuted for the offence or not but you must apply within two years of the date of the incident. You should not wait until the end of a civil or criminal trial before applying for criminal injuries compensation. To find out if you are eligible for payment for having suffered immediate financial hardship contact Victim Support on 0808 168 9111 or visit: www.victimsupport.org.uk as soon as possible.

Translation and Interpretation

If you do not understand or speak English, you are entitled to ask for interpretation into a language you understand when reporting a crime, being interviewed by the police or giving evidence in criminal proceedings. In Wales, you have the legal right to use Welsh when giving evidence and the court will make the necessary provisions. The Victims' Code sets out your entitlement to request the translation of key documents as part of the case, including the written acknowledgement.

Restorative Justice

As a victim, you may be able to undertake Restorative Justice and have a say in the resolution of the offence against you. Restorative Justice is the process of bringing together victims with those responsible for the harm, to find a positive way forward. To find out more, visit www.restorativejustice.org.uk

Conviction, sentence, release and probation supervision

When someone is convicted of an offence and sent to prison, the pass into the care of the Prison Service. To find out more, visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-prison-service If you would like to find out more about what you are entitled to under the Victims' Code after a sentence has been passed, such as information about the Victim Contact Scheme and the role of the Parole Board, visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-code-of-practice-for-victims-of-crime or https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/parole-board

Further information

You can use the Victims' Information Service to find more detailed information about support and services for victims at: www.victimsinformationservice.org.uk or phone 0808 168 9293.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice can help with financial problems or advice, legal issues or other practical problems. To find out more, visit: www.adviceguide.org.uk or call 03444 111 444. For more information on the full Victims' Code: www.gov.uk

Share this page: