The Victim Personal Statement (VPS) is important and gives victims a voice in the criminal justice process by helping others to understand how a crime has affected them.
Whilst a conventional witness statement allows the victim to set the scene and explain what happened to them, making a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) gives victims a voice in the criminal justice process.
A VPS lets you say in their own words how a crime has affected you. That may be physically, emotionally, or in any other way.
This is your decision to make and you can provide it straight away, or any time before the case goes to court, or when the offender is sentenced.
If you choose not to make a VPS when first offered the chance, you can still make one later, as long as it is before the case comes to court, and this is a continuing right under the Victims’ Codes of Practice.
Once you have completed and signed their VPS, it cannot be changed or withdrawn if you later change your mind about what it says.
However, you can provide another one to the police to add more information.
If the case reaches court, the VPS will be shown to the defence and they may be questioned on it in court. If discussed in court, details could be reported in the media.
You will also be asked if you would like your VPS to be read out (or played if recorded) in court if the suspect is found guilty.
It will be read after the verdict is given, but before the judge decides the sentence.
If a defendant is found guilty, the court will take the VPS into account, along with all the other evidence, when deciding upon an appropriate sentence.
You can ask to read out your own VPS, or for somebody to read it out for you. This will usually be done by a Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor.
Businesses or enterprises, such as charities, that are also victims of crime, are entitled to make an Impact Statement explaining how the crime has affected the business, and this should be sent to the police.
Making an Impact Statement does not prevent an individual victim from making a separate VPS.
Read more about making a Victim Personal Statement (opens in new window).
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