Your Key Rights as a Victim
At the Staffordshire Victim Gateway and Restorative Justice Service, we acknowledge that anyone can become a victim of crime, and that some crimes by nature will have a greater impact on an individual. Some victims are targeted for their vulnerability, whilst some may become repeat victims who live with the fear and risk of re-victimisation daily.
If you’ve been a victim of crime, you have the right to receive a certain level of service from the criminal justice system.
Your rights are explained in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (the Victims’ Code). The Code tells you what you can expect from each criminal justice agency, including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts.
The Victims Code was revised in 2015 to allow victims of crime the right to receive a proper level of service from the Criminal Justice System, this may involve organisations such as the police, Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts and Probation Service. In the code , you can find details of the service you can expect from each of these agencies.
Please remember, you can still receive support if you are affected by crime, even if the police have not charged anyone with it and even if you do not want to be involved in the investigation.
Essential Information for Victims of Crime
There are a range of services available to victims of crime. Whether or not you want a service from the Staffordshire Victim Gateway and Restorative Justice service, we do want to inform you of some of the options that are available to you. The Victims’ Code says what should happen from when you tell the police about a crime until after the trial.
Victims of crime have the right to receive a proper level of service from the Criminal Justice System. This includes agencies like the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the court service and the Probation Service. In the code, you can find details of the service you can expect from each of these agencies. These rights include:
- Being kept up to date about the progress of your case by the police
- Being informed when a suspect has been arrested, charged, bailed or sentenced.
- Being able to apply for compensation
- The right to make a Victim Personal Statement in which you can explain the impact of the crime. You have the right for this statement to be read out in court, with the court’s permission.
- The right to ask for extra help when you give evidence if you are vulnerable or intimidated victim or a child or young person.
- The right to be referred to Support Services – like Staffordshire Victim Gateway
- Being informed about taking part in Restorative Justice Schemes.
- Being informed when an offender will be released (where the offender has been sentenced to a year or more in prison for a violence or sexual offence).
- Where a decision is made not to prosecute a crime, you have the right to seek a review of this decision
If you would like to know more about your rights as a victim, then please contact Staffordshire Victim Gateway to talk to us about this directly or you can read the Victims Code here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-code-of-practice-for-victims-of-crime
Victim Personal Statement
If the person who committed the crime against you is caught, prosecuted and convicted you may be entitled to prepare a Victims Personal Statement (VPS), depending on the crime. – as a victim you are entitled to do a VPS regardless of whether the perpetrator is caught/identified.
The statement can be read to the court to illustrate the impact that this crime has had on you. This may help the court when it is considering the sentence to give the offender. If you would like to know more about this, or you want help to prepare a VPS you should speak to your Victim Liaison Officer at the Police. – the Police do not have victim liaison officers. It will be the officer assigned to the case.
You can find more information about Victims Personal Statements by clicking here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/victim-personal-statement
Criminal Injuries Compensation
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) deals with compensation claims from people who have been physically or psychologically harmed because they were the victim of a violent crime. The government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme sets the amounts for compensation and there are rules about which victims are eligible for the scheme.
You can apply for compensation if you or someone you know has been hurt in a violent crime in the past 2 years by completing an online form https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-criminal-injury or ringing 0300 003 3601.
You will need the unique police reference number and, if you were treated for an injury, the doctor’s contact details.
Staffordshire Victims Gateway can advise you or help you complete and application.
Tel: 0330 0881 339
We can also advise you on appealing if your application is refused.
If you are unhappy with how the police have dealt with you or with your case, and you want to complain. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and sets the standards by which the police should handle complaints. It is independent, making its decisions entirely independently of the police.
Police forces deal with the majority of complaints against police officers and police staff. The IPCC considers appeals from people who are dissatisfied with the way a police force has dealt with their complaint. Since November 2012 the responsibility for determining appeals is shared with local police forces.
You can find out more about the IPCC on their website:
(Note: The IPCC can offer assistance if you have any language barriers).
An alternative way to complain is to go directly to the police force you wish to complain about (for example Staffordshire Police):
Staffordshire Police pledge to consistently deliver to the highest standards. They do acknowledge that there are occasions when they get things wrong. If you are not satisfied with the service you have received or are unhappy with the conduct of a police officer or member of police staff, you can make a complaint.
You can contact 101 or you can email them at PSU@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk
For further information about how to make a complaint directly to the police: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/1994/Making-a-Complaint
If you would like help to make a police complaint Staffordshire Victims Gateway can help. Call us on 0330 0881 339.
If you are struggling to get police updates you can ask for them to be sent to you by email, or you can phone 101 to speak to the Police Officer dealing with your case or you could use this link: http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/
Complaining directly to the police force directly:
Tel: 101 and ask for the police force you wish to be connected to.
OR make a complaint in writing by emailing: PSU@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk
Ask the Police:
For further information you can go to Ask the Police where a lot of questions have already been answered:
Independent Police Complaints Commission:
The below link will take you through the process and give you access to the online complaints:
Alternatively if you do not have internet access you can contact the IPCC and make a complaint via their telephone number:
Tel: 0300 020 0096
As a victim of crime, you may be able to take part in Restorative Justice. This is when those harmed by a crime have contact with the person responsible for the crime (the offender), to try to find a way forward. This is a voluntary intervention and both participants need to agree for the contact to take place. Restorative Justice facilitators will respect the wishes of both participants, be flexible with the type of process which they can offer, and only proceed with the intervention when they judge it to be safe. To find out more information, please click the link
7 in 10 people who use our Victim Gateway service are happy with the outcome.