Advice for victims
What if I am under 18?
If you are a victim under the age of 18 your parent or guardian will be automatically entitled to an enhanced service under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
You will also receive support directly if consent is given from your parent or guardian.
Will I be kept informed about the investigation?
Yes, the officer in your case will agree with you when and how often you will be updated, this includes which method, for example if you have requested to be update via email or a telephone call. You will receive updates if an offender has been found/arrested/charged.
Will I have to give a statement?
You might be asked to give a statement to a police officer. This is called an evidential statement, which tells the story of what has happened to you. Later in the investigation process, you might also want to complete a Victim Personal Statement (VPS). The VPS is a voluntary written account of what impact the crime has had on you, whether physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially or in any other way. It is your chance to explain all of the effects in detail and can form a vital part of the evidence to be used if the case goes to court. When the officer in the case meets with you they will go through the VPS process with you.
Will I have to go to court?
If the offender is charged to appear at court following a thorough investigation, and you have given a statement as a victim or witness then yes, you might have to go to court. The Witness Care Unit at North Yorkshire Police will inform you if this is the case.
Can I claim for compensation?
You might be able to claim for compensation in a number of ways. This will be explained to you by the officer in your case and the Witness Care Unit.
How should I expect to be treated?
North Yorkshire Police must adhere to the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime you are entitled to:
- A written acknowledgement that you have reported a crime, including the basic details of the offence
- An enhanced service if you are a persistently targeted victim, a vulnerable or intimidated victim, or simply feel you need more support and contact with the police and criminal justice agencies
- 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
- Seek a review of the police or CPS’s decision not to prosecute in accordance with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and CPS Victims’ Right to Review schemes
- Be informed of the time, date and location and outcome of any court hearings
- 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 advocate and ask him or her questions about the court process where circumstances permit
- 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
- 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.
Supporting Victims Service
The Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire service provides help to victims in a number of different ways, to help them to cope and recover from the impact of crime. Experienced victim care co-ordinators offer advice and guidance for victims of crime via a dedicated telephone service. Supporting Victims can also refer victims to additional specialist services, aimed specifically at victims of sexual or domestic abuse, those who have suffered as a result of serious crime, people who have been persistently targeted and those feel vulnerable or intimidated as a result of criminal activity.
Whilst most of the people referred into the service will come from the police and other public sector agencies, members of the public can call Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire directly if they have been a victim of a criminal offence and need help – even if they have chosen not to report the crime to the police.
Visit Supporting Victims for more information. Or call 01609 643100.[pdf]