The Police Victims Right of Review (VRR) came into effect on 1st April 2015 and applies to all National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) offences.
The intention of the scheme is to allow a victim to have an avenue to appeal a decision not to prosecute. The Police VRR will only apply to cases in which a suspect has 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 in some detail as opposed to limited questioning that might take place in the immediate aftermath of an incident, for instance during a stop and search.
The right of a victim to request a review arises where the police;
1. make a decision not to bring proceedings in cases where the police have authority to charge or
2. make a decision that the case does not meet the Threshold Test for referral to the CPS for a charging decision
Victims are allowed to request a review within three months of being notified of the case being filed, as this is the period during which they can request a judicial review.
The scheme will only apply to decisions made on or after 1st April 2015, the scheme does not apply retrospectively.
Who Can Apply?
Any victim in a qualifying case where a decision is made not to prosecute (as identified at 1 and 2 above) is entitled to seek a review of that decision.
A victim is defined as per the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2013 (Victims Code); `a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly cause by a criminal conduct'; which includes;
• Close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct;
• Parents or guardians where the main victim is a child or youth under 18;
• Police officers who are victims of crime
• Family spokesperson of victims with a disability or who are so badly injured that they cannot communicate; and
• Businesses providing they give a named point of contact
What is the Process?
Where an individual feels they meet the above criteria can apply in writing via email to Police_VRRS@southyorks.pnn.police.uk or in writing to Performance and Governance, Carbrook House, 5 Carbrook Hall Road, Sheffield S9 2EH.
Requests will then be reviewed to ensure they meet with the qualifying criteria and confirmation of receipt, progression or otherwise will be sent to the individual concerned.
Any requests will be dealt with in a timely manner and within 30 working days (i.e six weeks from receipt of the request from the victim). For those cases which are of a more complex or sensitive nature it may not be possible to complete the review within the identified timescales and therefore the victim will be informed of this and regular updates on progress provided.