Victims' Right to Review (VRR)
The Victim’s Right to Review is a scheme which gives victims of crime the right to request a review of a Police decision where the police have decided not to bring about a prosecution.
The scheme only applies to cases where the decision to take ‘no further action’ was made; after 1st April 2015. Decisions made by the police, prior to 1st April 2015 do not qualify for the scheme.
What types of cases qualify for the VRR?
In order to qualify for the scheme, your case must be one to which National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS) apply. In other words, the offence must be deemed a crime in line with the general rules for recording crime that have been adopted by all forces in England & Wales since April 2002.
A suspect must have been identified and interviewed under caution, either following an arrest or by voluntary arrangement. An ‘interview’ in this context is intended to cover situations where a suspect has an allegation put to them and they are interviewed under caution.
At what point can I request a review?
Your right to request a review arises where the police:
- make a decision not to bring proceedings in cases where the police have authority to charge.
- make a decision that the case does not meet the Threshold Test for referral to the CPS for a charging decision and you are the victim of that crime.
You will be notified by Police of any decision not to bring proceedings.
Who can request a review?
You must be:
- A victim, as defined by the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
- A person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct.
You can also apply for a review if you are:
- Close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct
- Parents or guardian where the main victim is under 18
- A Police officer who is a victim of crime
- Family spokespersons of victims with a disability or someone so badly injured that they cannot communicate
How can I exercise my right to a review?
If you wish to exercise your right to review you should contact the Victims’ Right to Review Officer as detailed below.
- Tel: 101 (ask to speak with the Victims Right to Review Officer or the Victims Rights Officer)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Writing: Athena House, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4XF
What happens next?
An acknowledgement will be sent to the requestor within 10 days of receipt of the request.
The reviewing officer will approach the case afresh to determine whether the original decision was right or wrong.
In cases where the decision to take no further action was correct the victim will be informed by the reviewing officer.
If the decision to take no further action was deemed incorrect, then Police may overturn the decision and bring about proceedings if this is within their statutory powers.
If the offence is one which the Crown Prosecution Service must make the decision to charge on, then Police will provide them with the evidence upon which to make a decision.
What happens if I am not satisfied with the decision of the VRR?
If you are dissatisfied with the decision following the conclusion of the VRR process and wish to challenge it further, you can apply to the High Court for judicial review.
If you have concerns regarding the conduct of an officer you can contact the Professional Standards Department, Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton DL7 9HA or attend your local Police Station. Please see our Complaints page for further information.