What can I expect when I report a Crime?
What can I expect when I report a crime?
Under the Victim’s Code, you are entitled to receive the following from police:
- A needs assessment to help us to work out what support you need
- Enhanced entitlements if you are a victim of a serious crime, a persistently targeted victim or a vulnerable or intimidated victim
- Information on what to expect from the Criminal Justice System, (the courts)
- A referral to an organisation which support victims of crime
- The opportunity to make a Victim Personal Statement, where appropriate, to explain how the crime has affected you
- Subject to permission of the court, read your Victim Personal Statement out in court or have it read out on your behalf if the defendant is found or pleads guilty
- Updates if the suspect is to be prosecuted or not, or given an out of court disposal
- Information about how you can seek a review of Crown Prosecution Service decisions not to prosecute, to discontinue, or offer no evidence in all proceedings
- Information about the time, date and location and outcome of court hearings, if you are asked to give evidence in court
- Information on the Victim Contact Scheme if the offender is sentenced to 12 months or more for certain violent or sexual offences
- Information about Restorative Justice and how you can take part
- The opportunity to 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
What is a needs assessment?
Upon reporting a crime we will conduct a needs assessment. By assessing your needs we will consider enhanced support (see below) if you are - a victim of serious crime, persistently targeted, vulnerable or intimidated.
Enhanced entitlements are services which are offered to victims who are more likely to require extra support and services through the criminal justice process due to the nature of the crime they are victim of or because of their particular vulnerability as a victim.
There are three groups of victim who are entitled to receive enhanced entitlements:
- Victims of the most serious crime
- Persistently targeted victims
- Vulnerable or intimidated victims
You may be entitled to enhanced services under more than one category at the same time. For example, if you are under 18 years of age, you will be automatically eligible for enhanced services as a vulnerable victim regardless of whether you are also a victim of the most serious crime or are a persistently targeted victim.
A victim of domestic violence is eligible for enhanced services as a victim of the most serious crime, but may also qualify for enhanced services as a vulnerable or intimidated victim.
Ultimately, it is the service provider's decision as to whether you fall into any of the three categories.
All victims of criminal conduct are entitled to an assessment by the police to identify any needs or support required. The length and content of this assessment depends on the severity of the crime and your individual needs. The assessment will take into account your personal characteristics, the nature and circumstances of the crime and your views.
The more information you are able to provide during the assessment, the more tailored the level of support will be to your individual needs.
Additionally, your needs may change while the criminal conduct is being investigated due to your health, intimidation or any other reason. Therefore service providers must give you the opportunity to be re-assessed if your change of circumstances is brought to their attention.
Once a service provider has identified that you are eligible for enhanced entitlements under this Code, that service provider must ensure that this information is passed on as necessary to other service providers with responsibilities under this Code and to victims' services where appropriate. Service providers should check with you first that you are content for them to pass on your information to victims' services.
If you do not fall into the three categories outlined below, the service provider may exercise their discretion and provide enhanced entitlements under one of these categories depending on the circumstances of the victim concerned and the impact that the crime has had on them. It is important to note however that the service provider is not obliged to offer these services if you don't fall into one of the categories.
What are the most serious crimes?
You are eligible for enhanced entitlements under the Victims' Code as a victim of the most serious crime if you are a close relative bereaved by criminal conduct, or you are:
a victim of domestic violence
a victim of hate crime
a victim of terrorism
a victim of a sexual offence
a victim of human trafficking
a victim of attempted murder
a victim of kidnap or false imprisonment
a victim of arson with intent to endanger life or
a victim of wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent
There are additional enhanced entitlements that are available for bereaved close relatives identified separately.
In relation to enhanced entitlements, who is a persistently targeted victim of crime?
You are eligible for enhanced entitlements under the Victims' Code as a persistently targeted victim if you have been targeted repeatedly as a direct victim of crime over a period of time; particularly if you have been deliberately targeted or you are a victim of a sustained campaign of harassment or stalking.
In relation to enhanced entitlements, who is a vulnerable or intimidated victim?
You are eligible for enhanced entitlements under the Victims' Code as a vulnerable victim if:
- You are under 18 years of age
- The quality of your evidence is likely to be affected because
- you suffer from mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983
- you otherwise have a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning, or,
- you have a physical disorder or are suffering from a physical disorder
You are eligible for enhanced entitlements under the Victims' Code as an intimidated victim if the service provider considers that the quality of your evidence will be affected because of your fear or distress about testifying in court.
When assessing whether a victim is intimidated, the service provider must take account of:
- any behaviour towards the victim on the part of the accused, members of the family or associates of the accused and any other person who is likely to be an accused or witness in a potential court case
- the nature and alleged circumstances of the offence to which a potential court case related. Victims of a sexual offence or human trafficking will automatically be considered to be intimidated
- the victim's age and, if relevant, the victim's social and cultural background, religious beliefs or political opinions, ethnic origin, domestic and employment circumstances