The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, aims to make a victim's journey through the criminal justice process easier and clearer by outlining the support and information available to victims at each stage of the process.
The Code of Practice or 'Victims' Code', as it is more commonly known, was introduced by the government as a statutory document that criminal justice agencies such as the police and the courts must adhere to from the moment a crime is reported, through to the end of the trial.
Under the Victims' Code, support for victims of crime includes:
- Being kept informed about the police investigation into the crime, including if a suspect is arrested and charged and any bail conditions given
- Being informed of what to expect if you need to give evidence in court and being able to discuss what help and support you might need with the Witness Care Officer
- The ability to apply for special measures in court to help you give your best evidence if you are under 18 or an adult victim who is vulnerable or intimidated
- Being informed about how you can access further information from the Crown Prosecution Service and seek a review of their decision where dissatisfied (CPS Right to Review Scheme)
- Having the ability to apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Click here for more information
- Receiving information about restorative justice which brings together the offender and the victim, giving the victim a chance to tell the offender what the real impact of their crime has been. To find out more about restorative justice click here
- Businesses are classed as victims under the Victims’ Code and are entitled to make a Business Impact Statement (ISB). The ISB can include; the cost of the crime, loss of earnings, impact on the staff (you will need to explain how the crime has affected the business or staff)
Being able to complain if you do not receive what you should under the 'Victims' Code' and have the right for your complaint to be handled properly and quickly. The full Victims' Code and all supporting public information materials, such as an easy read guide, can be found here.
The Victims Code: Under 18s information video
Last updated 19th December 2016