1 Victims of crime : Understanding the support you can expect If you have been a victim of crime , you are entitled to certain information and support from criminal justice organisations such as the police and the courts. The Victims ' Code is a Government document which explains what you can expect from these organisations from the moment you report a crime until after a trial has finished. The whole document is available on but this leaflet summarises the key points. Am I entitled to support under the Code? Reporting the crime If you are a victim of a crime that took place You can report a crime to the police by in England or Wales, you are entitled to visiting a police station, by phone or online.
2 Support under the Victims ' Code. You are also The police should give you information about entitled to support if you are a close relative what to expect from the criminal justice of somebody who has been killed as a result system after reporting the crime . of a crime . Businesses or enterprises (such as You may be asked by the police to make a charities) that are Victims of crime are also witness statement saying what happened covered under the Code. during the crime . This will give details such A separate leaflet is available on the support as when the crime took place, and where and provided for Victims who are under 18 and what you saw. As well as this, you can make a their parents or guardians.
3 Victim personal Statement (VPS) if you want to, explaining how the crime has affected you. Victim personal Statement (VPS). Making a Victim personal Statement (VPS). gives you a voice in the criminal justice process. The VPS lets you explain in your own words how a crime has affected you physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way. Making a VPS is your choice. You do not have to make one if you do not want to. If you choose to make a VPS, it can be written or recorded if recording facilities are available. The police will ask you whether you If you choose not to make a statement would like all or part of your VPS to be when first offered the chance, you may read out or played (if recorded) in court do so later providing it is before the case if the case goes to trial and the suspect is comes to court.
4 However, you should be found guilty. The court will make the final aware that some cases are brought to decision on whether the VPS is read out. If court very quickly. read out, this will be done after the verdict Once you have completed and signed your is given but before the court decides on VPS, it cannot be changed or withdrawn if the sentence. you change your mind about what it says. You can ask to read out the VPS yourself or However you can provide another one to ask somebody else to read it out for you. If the police to add more information. If your you do not want your VPS to be read out case reaches court, your VPS will be shown in court, you do not have to choose this to the defence and you may be questioned option.
5 The court will still consider your on it in open court. If you are questioned VPS before deciding on the sentence. on it, details could be reported in the media. The police will automatically pass on your explaining how the crime has affected the details to victim services organisations that business. This statement should be sent to can provide you with practical and emotional the police. support, unless you ask them not to. If you Making an Impact Statement does not are the victim of a sexual offence or domestic prevent an individual victim from making violence, or the relative of somebody who has a separate Victim personal Statement. been killed as a result of crime , the police will ask you if you are happy for your details to be passed on and will only do this if you have agreed.
6 Owain's son died when CASE STUDY. If your details are passed on, someone from hit by a dangerous the victim services organisation will get in driver. He said: touch with you to explain the help available to assist your recovery. My wife and I made a Victim personal Statement because we lost our only Keeping you informed r to be son and we wanted the offende wife and I. The police should keep you informed as aware of what this meant. My progress is made in the investigation and will the hea ring and sat in court throughout let you know if any arrests are made and if the jud ge rea d out a on the sentence day suspects are charged. You can agree with the . The jud ge said he had line from our VPS.
7 Police how often you would like to hear from but , bec aus e ma ny of our read our VPS. not upset them about the investigation. family were present, he would alo ud. The us further by reading it all out how our family Impact Statement for Businesses judge also acknowledged end ant had not All businesses or enterprises (such as was angry that the def did not charities) that are Victims of crime are apologised to us. Making the VPS. k to us but we felt we entitled to make an Impact Statement bring our boy bac had a voice in cou rt.. Going to court Special Measures Once a crime has been reported to the police, the investigation may lead to a suspect being Vulnerable or intimidated Victims and charged for the crime .
8 The Crown Prosecution witnesses can ask for Special Measures Service (CPS) will normally make the decision to be used during the trial to help them on whether there is enough evidence to bring give their best evidence in court. These the case to court, although in some cases the measures include: police will decide. Having screens around the witness If your case does not go to court, you should box or giving evidence by live be told the reason for this decision by either video-link so you do not have to the police or CPS. You can ask for this decision face the suspect or their family;. to be reviewed if you are unhappy with it. This Having the court case held in would be done through the Victims ' Right to private with no press or public Review Scheme.
9 Allowed;. If your case does go to court, you may be a Having someone (an intermediary). witness in the trial. If the suspect pleads not to help you to understand guilty, you will be allocated a Witness Care questions when being interviewed. Officer or other point of contact who will keep You can ask your Witness Care Officer you up to date about what's happening in the or other point of contact for more trial and answer any questions you have. information. The court will make the You will usually hear from the Witness Care final decision on whether you can use Officer once the suspect has been charged, Special Measures during the trial, but and they will continue to support you until will take your views into account.
10 The case is over. They will let you know court dates and locations and whether the suspect has been released on bail or is being held in custody until the trial begins. They may also be able to arrange a visit to the court before the day if you would like. CASE STUDY. Your Witness Care Officer or other point Julia was a victim of contact, will consider what, if any, of rape and benefited support you might need to attend court. from using Special This includes whether you could benefit Measures when giving from any Special Measures. Special evidence. Measures are a series of options that the court has to help give your best evidence. I could not have faced going into court and seeing the offender and his family who thought I was making it all up.