If you've been a victim of crime, you're entitled to know what your rights are.
What should you do if you are a victim of crime?
Report the crime to the police. In many cases the police will come to the scene of the crime, but if the crime is not serious and the offender has left the scene, officers may take details from you over the telephone instead.
The officers taking the details will give you a crime reference number and tell you how to find out about the progress of your case. They will also tell you if someone is arrested and charged in connection with your case. If you move house or have any updates or further details on your case, keep the police informed.
If you have been a victim of:
The Victims' Code of Practice
If you have been a victim of crime the victims' code of practice sets out the standards of service that you or your family can expect from the criminal justice agencies. It also explains how you can complain if the standards are not met.
You can expect:
- A crime you have reported to be investigated and to receive information about what happens;
- The chance to explain how the crime has affected you, and your interests to be taken into account;
- If you have to go to court as a witness, to be treated with respect and sensitivity;
- To be offered emotional and practical support.
Where can I get victim support?
Victim Support: The police will ask for your consent to pass your details on to Victim Support. Victim Support is an independent charity which helps people cope with the effects of crime. They provide free and confidential support and information to help you deal with your experience, including:
- Someone to talk to;
- Information on police and court procedure;
- Liaison with other organisations on your behalf;
- Information on compensation and insurance matters;
- Contact with other sources of help.
Victim Support can also arrange for a volunteer to accompany you to the police station and to court.
Voice UK helps people with learning disabilities who have been a victim of crime or abuse.
Do I have a right to know when the criminal has been released?
If you have been the victim of a sexual or violent offence, you can ring the National Offender Management Service Victim Helpline to find out the due date for the prisoner's release, or if you have received unwanted contact from a prisoner call 0845 7585 112.
This article will also talk you through the support on offer to you after a trial has finished.
Criminal injuries compensation
If you have been assaulted or your property has been stolen or damaged you may be entitled to claim compensation from criminal injuries. If you think you may qualify take a note of:
- Any expenses you have had as a result of the offence, for example, medical charges or the cost of repairing or replacing your property;
- Any loss of earnings you may have suffered;
- Any income you may have received as a result of the offence, for example Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance.