Victims Code of Practice
All victims and witnesses of crime have certain entitlements under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. After you have reported a crime to the police, you should be informed about these entitlements.
Below are the key ones:
- Written acknowledgement that you have reported a crime, including the basic details of the offence;
- An enhanced service if you are a vicitm of a serious crime, a persistently targeted victim or a vulnerable or intimidated victim;
- A needs assessment to help work out what support you need;
- Information on what to expect from the criminal justice system;
- Be referred to organisations supporting victims of crime;
- Be informed about the police investigation, such as if a suspect is arrested and charged and any bail conditions imposed;
- Make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) to explain how the crime affected you;
- Read your VPS aloud or have it read aloud on your behalf, subject to the views of the court, if a defendant is found guilty;
- Be informed if the suspect is to be prosecuted or not or given an out of court disposal;
- See a review of the police or CPS's decision not to prosecute in accordance with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and CPS Victims' Right to Review schemes;
- Be informed if you need to give evidence in court, what to expect and discuss what help and support you might need with the Witness Care Unit;
- Arrange a court familiarisation visit, enter the court through a different entrance from the suspect and sit in a separate waiting area where possible;
- Meet the CPS advocate and ask him or her questions about the court process where circumstances permit;
- Be informed of any appeal against the offender's conviction or sentence;
- To opt into the Victim Contact Scheme (VCS) if the offender is sentenced to 12 months or more for a specified violent or sexual offence;
- If you opt have opted in to the VCS, to make a VPS for consideration by the Parole Board if the offender is considered for release or transfer and apply to the Parole Board to read it out at the hearing, and make representations about the conditions attached to the offender's licence on release and be informed about any licence conditions relation to you;
- Apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme;
- Receive information about Restorative Justice and how you can take part;
- Make a complaint if you do not receive the information and services you are entitled to, and to receive a full response from the relevant service provider
You can find out more about these entitlements in 'What happens after a crime?'
This is not a complete list of the entitlements and you can find out more information in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.