The Victims Code
The Government published its revised Victims Code in October 2015, setting out a clear set of services and entitlements that every victim of crime can expect to receive from local agencies such as the police, courts, crown prosecution service, probation service and their police and crime commissioner.
Please click here to view the Victims Code
Summary of key entitlements
Below is a list of key entitlements that victims of criminal conduct are entitled to in this Code. This is not an exhaustive list. For more information on these entitlements and more, please see the Victims Code Chapter 2, Part A if you are an adult and Chapter 3, Part A if you are a victim under 18 years of age.
You are entitled to:
• 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;
• Be informed about how you can seek a review of CPS decisions not to prosecute, to discontinue or offer no evidence in all proceedings;
• 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 Prosecutor and ask him or her questions about the court process;
• 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.
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