A new national scheme, agreed by The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), now offers victims a stronger voice in terms of how their case is handled.
The Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) Scheme gives victims an opportunity to request a review of a police decision not to bring about a prosecution for cases where the decision is to take no further action (NFA).
There are two qualifying factors for a case to be reviewed via the VRR process. Firstly, the case must be one whereby a crime is recorded. Secondly, there needs to have been a suspect identified and interviewed under caution, either following an arrest or by voluntary arrangement.
The point at which a victim can request a review is where the police have either made a decision not to bring proceedings in cases where the police have authority to charge, or made a decision that the case does not meet the relevant test for referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a charging decision.
Chief Inspector Mark Khan from the Criminal Justice Department for North Yorkshire Police said: “The Victims’ Right to Review scheme allows victims of crime to access a process that reviews decisions made by police officers in relation to their case.
“The scheme permits a review to be done in an open, fair and accountable manner by an independent officer.
“Our aim is to continue to build confidence, satisfaction and transparency in our decision making processes amongst victims of crime and we believe the VRR process will help to do just that”.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire said: “I have committed to putting victims at the heart of policing in North Yorkshire, and this is an example of making sure the victims’ voice is heard at every stage.”
“Policing and the criminal justice system can be complicated. This scheme gives victims the chance to better understand why decisions have been taken, as well make sure the police are looking again at cases where victims don’t feel like the right decision has been made.”
There are circumstances whereby the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme does not apply, yet a victim still wishes to appeal to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or make a complaint to the police.
A victim would need to make an appeal through the CPS VRR process if; a suspect is arrested and/or interviewed and the matter is sent to the CPS for a decision, and they make a NFA decision.
If the circumstances are such that a victim has made a complaint following a decision of NFA by an officer, and there was not an identified offender who was arrested nor interviewed, then this would not qualify for the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme.
In this situation the victim would need to make a complaint against the police, which would then be recorded and dealt with as a complaint via standard procedures.
How victims can access the scheme.
Those wishing their case to be reviewed should contact North Yorkshire Police’s VRR Officer, who will review the case in detail. The VRR Officer is a police officer who is independent from all of the cases requesting to be reviewed.
To access the scheme and have a case reviewed, Dial 101 and ask to speak to the Victims’ Right to Review Officer, email email@example.com or send a request in writing to: Victims’ Right to Review Officer, Athena House, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4XF.
For more information visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/VRRLast modified: June 13, 2018