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Victims

In this section

Victims have rights, outlined in the Victim Code of Practice (VCOP).

What can you expect from us?

If you have been a victim of crime, we promise to:

  • treat you with fairness, dignity and respect
  • give you clear and relevant information about your case
  • keep you informed about progress on your case
  • tell you if we aren’t able to take the case forward for any reason

Will I be kept informed?

Once you’ve reported the crime, a police officer will be given your case. They will be your main point of contact and will give you updates at least once a month until the case is closed.

You will be given a crime reference number so we can quickly identify your case and you will also be given access to TrackMyCrime, an online crime tracking system.

You are entitled to be informed of a decision:

  • to prosecute the suspect
  • to give the suspect an out of court disposal, such as any caution given by the police
  • not to prosecute the suspect

What is a victim personal statement?

A Victim Personal Statement (VPS) gives you an opportunity to explain in your own words how the crime has affected you, whether physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way.

The VPS is an official document that will become part of the file relating to your case. If you wish to make a VPA please tell the officer dealing with your case.

How do the police investigate the crime?

As part of the investigation, we look at all the information available including forensic and any visual or audio evidence.

If appropriate, we will send a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) to look for any useful forensic material, such as fingerprints or DNA. To find out more about Crime Scene Investigators download the leaflet CSIs - Your Questions Answered.

Important: If you have been told that a CSI is going to attend to examine your property (this may be your home, your car or your business) it is important not to touch or move anything.

If there are no immediate lines of enquiry, your case will be investigated with other, similar cases. Often, by identifying patterns and similarities within batches of crime we are able to find the offenders, recover stolen property and stop the problem.

What happens after the investigation?

When the police have finished their investigation, they can pass the information to Crown Prosecution Service who will decide if there is enough evidence to take the case to court.

Will I have to go to court?

If the case goes to court, you don’t always have to attend. Sometimes the defendant’s solicitor or representative will just accept your evidence if they don’t have any further questions to ask you.

What happens if I do have to go to court?

If you do have to go to court to be a witness, a witness liaison officer will contact you to let you know.

Our liaison unit take care of victims from the point where someone is charged with the crime through to the end of the trial.

If you are vulnerable due to feeling fear of the accused, or because of the nature of the crime, or because you are young, then there are ‘special measures’ available to help you in court.

Special measures include the use of screens, allowing you to give evidence from outside of court, or making a pre-recorded video of your evidence.

How do I get further support?

If you feel you need additional support following a crime, Lighthouse can help. 

Lighthouse is a multi-agency team of Police staff and independent support organisations working together to provide information, advice and support to victims of crime. You can ask the officer dealing with your case about this service and they can arrange a referral. 

Can I claim compensation?

If you have been a victim of a violent offence, you may be eligible for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). To find out more visit Criminal Injuries Compensation Guide.

Closing the case

There are times when the investigation will have to be closed. This happens when no further lines of enquiry are found and no further information is available. However, this does not mean that the case is forgotten.

If we receive further information at a later date, we will review your case and may be able to solve the crime.

Related documents

  • PDF icon Victim Care Leaflet
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon CSI - Your Questions Answered
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Code of Practice for Victims of Crime
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Victims of Crime - Understanding the support you can get
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Key Victim Support Services
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Integrated Victim Strategy
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Français Vous avez signalé un crime. Que va-t-il se passer par la suite
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Italiano Avete denunciato un reato. Cosa succede adesso
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Lietuviu Jus pranešete apie nusikaltima. Koks sekantis žingsnis
    Last updated: 23 December 2016
  • PDF icon Português Você participou um crime. O que acontece em segida
    Last updated: 23 December 2016