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Support for victims and witnesses of crime

As a victim of crime or someone who has witnessed a crime, there are things you can expect from the police and criminal justice system.

In these pages we’ll explain what those things are and how you can access support.

What to expect as a victim of crime

The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime lays out what happens from when a crime is reported through to what happens after a trial, if there is one. The Code of Practice explains what your rights are. The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime is also available in an Easy Read format.

Under the Code of Practice, a ‘victim’ is someone who:

  • has been harmed, physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially by a crime

  • is a close relative of someone who has died as a result of a crime

You may also have rights under the Code of Practice if you are:

  • the parent or guardian of someone under the age of 18 who has been a victim of a crime

  • the person representing someone who is a victim of a crime who cannot communicate for themselves either because of a disability or because they have been injured as the result of the crime

As the victim of a crime you have the right to:

  • be treated equally, fairly and with respect by everyone

  • make informed choices that are respected

  • have your privacy respected

  • be offered help to understand the criminal justice process

What to expect as a witness to a crime

Witnesses of crime are protected under the Witness Charter. The charter explains the support you can get and how you should be treated.

All witnesses of crime have the right to:

  • be treated equally, fairly and with respect by everyone

  • a main contact who'll update you about the case and support you

  • an assessment to check what your needs are, including special measures if you're a vulnerable or intimidated witness

  • be given information about the court and court processes

To find out more about how witnesses and victims of crime are treated and other services available, visit the UK government’s website.

If you’re a victim or witness to a crime that hasn’t been reported to the police

It's important to report all crimes to the police. It helps us to bring offenders to justice and stop more crimes from happening.

If you don't report a crime to us you can still get help from Victim Support.

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