What can I expect as a victim of crime?
The Victims' Code of Practice sets out in law how a victim of crime can expect to be treated by all organisations, ensuring
that you receive a service that helps you to cope and recover from the crime you have experienced, and to hopefully prevent re-victimisation.
A summary of your rights under The Victims' Code are as follows:
- A written acknowledgement that you have reported a crime, including the basic details of the offence
- An enhanced service if you are a victim of 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
- Seek 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 of the time, date and location and outcome of any court hearings
- 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 and 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 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; - make representations about the conditions attached to the offender’s licence on release and be informed about any licence conditions relating 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.
For more information about The Victims' Code see the poster below and the leaflets on the right.
There are a number of ways you can claim or be eligible for compensation as a victim or witness to a crime.
If you have been injured either as a victim or witness of crime you could be eligible for the Government's Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This is available for victims of violent crimes who haven’t been able to claim any other kind of compensation through the court. You can apply here for the scheme.
Nottinghamshire Victim CARE can also help to support you through this process.
You could also be awarded compensation through the courts, if a Judge decides that the offender should pay a sum of money as part of their sentence. This is known as a Compensation Order, and is administered by the court.
You may also be able to claim on your insurance policies in cases of theft, burglary or criminal damage. If you disagree with your insurer’s decision, you can apply to the Financial Ombudsman.
If you are unhappy about any part of the criminal justice process, you are entitled to complain. In the first instance, you should speak to the person you have been dealing with. If their response is unsatisfactory, make a formal complaint to the organisation they are part of – they should then respond in accordance to their organisations complaint procedure.
If you need to escalate complaints further, please see the links relating to the following organisations:
- Complaints about the Police https://policeconduct.gov.uk/complaints-and-appeals/make-complaint
- Complaints about the CPS or Witness Care Unit https://www.cps.gov.uk/feedback-and-complaints
- Complaints about Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/criminal-injuries-compensation-authority/about/complaints-procedure
- For complaints relating to the Nottinghamshire Victim CARE service, you can put your complaint in writing to the Head of Service, firstname.lastname@example.org