The following sets out what you can expect from the Criminal Justice System as a victim of crime. It contains information about organisations that you can contact for free advice, practical information or emotional support.
Working together with the police to investigate your crime
To help us investigate your crime, you must inform us of the following:
- If you remember something not already included in your current statement.
- If your contact details change.
- If the crime involved any type of hostility, for example if you were targeted because of your race, sexuality, religion, disability or gender identity, or perceived race, sexuality, religion, disability or gender identity.
- If you have any specific needs, for example, mobility, communication or religious requirements.
Support for victims of crime
As a victim of crime, we will pass your information to Victim Support. If you have been a victim, you may need practical help and information. Victim Support is a national, independent charity whose trained volunteers and staff can help you. Their services are free, confidential and available to everyone, regardless of when the event happened. You might find it helpful to talk to one of their staff if you found the experience distressing. If you need more specialised advice or support they will also be able to refer you to a more suitable organisation. To find out more, visit:www.victimsupport.org.uk or call 0845 30 30 900.
If you have been a victim of a violent offence, you may be eligible for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You can apply for compensation whether someone has been prosecuted for the offence or not. To find out more, visit:www.cica.gov.uk or call CICA on 0800 358 3601.
In some cases if someone is arrested and charged, The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to prosecute or not and whether to take your case to court. To find out more about the CPS, visit:www.cps.gov.uk or call 0203 357 0000
Protection against harassment or intimidation
If you are harassed or threatened in any way during an investigation or a trial, you should contact the police immediately. If the offender is remanded in custody, released on bail or convicted, the criminal court can make a restraining order. Victims and witnesses are also protected against witness intimidation for up to a year after the conclusion of a trial.
Vulnerable/Intimidated Victims and Witnesses
Victims who feel intimidated or vulnerable because, for example, they are young or disabled may require help providing evidence. In these cases, witnesses may be entitled to ‘special measures’ at court to assist them give their best evidence. Special measures are provided at the discretion of the Judge or Magistrate. Special measures may include a live link to the court room, so the witness does not have to give evidence in the court room, the use of screens inside the court room so the witness cannot see the defendant when giving evidence, visually recorded evidence in chief, the removal of wigs and gowns, or video recorded cross-examination. Other measures are available to assist witnesses with communication difficulties to allow them to give their best evidence, such as the use of an intermediary who will explain the questions put to them and help the court understand their answers.
Conviction, sentence and parole
When someone is convicted of an offence and sent to prison, they pass into the care of the Prison Service. To find out more, visit www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk
If the offender in your case was under 18, you may be contacted by the Youth Offender Team (YOT) to see if you want to be involved in a restorative justice intervention.
If the offender in your case was convicted of a sexual or violent offence and sentenced to a year or more in prison, including offenders being treated by mental heath service, the Probation Service will keep you informed about key points in the offender’s sentence. To find out more, visit
In some cases, the Parole Board decide when offenders can safely be released from prison into the community. To find out more, visit www.paroleboard.gov.uk
Your rights and the service you should expect
As a victim you receive support and services under the Code of Practice for Victims’ of Crime (the Victims’ Code). The Victim’s Code sets out the services you can expect from the criminal justice agencies. You can also make a complaint under the Victims’ Code if you are unhappy with the service you receive.
The Victim Personal Statement (VPS) provides an opportunity for victims to have a voice in the criminal justice process. It enables you to tell the court and the Parole Board how the offence has affected you or your family. To find out more, visit
Further information about support and services for victims and witnesses at www.direct.gov.uk
Citizens Advice - They can help with financial problems or advice, legal issues or other practical problems. To find out more, visit:www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call 0845 126 4264
You may also be a witness in the case, if this is so, please see our Witness page for advice and information.You can also download South Yorkshire Police’s ‘Supporting victims of crime’ leaflet for further information
Access information on legal aid for victims of domestic abuse