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What am I entitled to?

Being a victim of crime can be a very distressing time and it is entirely understandable for you to seek the help and information you need to deal with it and move on.

With this in mind, the police will tell you all about what to expect from the criminal justice system, including information about The Victims’ Code.

You are entitled to:

  • Additional services if you are a victim of serious crime, have been persistently targeted or are vulnerable or have been intimidated.
  • A needs assessment to help work out what support you need.
  • Information on what to expect from the criminal justice system.
  • Be given details of organisations that support victims of crime.
  • Updates about the police investigation, such as when a suspect is arrested or 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 court’s permission, if a defendant is found or pleads guilty.
  • Be informed whether the suspect will be prosecuted or not – or of any out-of-court outcome, such as a caution.
  • Be told how you can challenge Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decisions not to prosecute, discontinue or offer no evidence in all proceedings.
  • Be given the time, date, location and outcome of any court hearings.
  • Be informed if you need to give evidence in court and what to expect.
  • Discuss what help and support you might need in court with the Witness Care Unit.
  • Have a familiarisation visit to the court, enter through a different entrance from the suspect and sit in a separate waiting area where possible.
  • Meet the CPS prosecutor and ask questions about the court process.
  • Be told of any appeal against the offender’s conviction or sentence.