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Step by step through the victims journey

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If you report a crime, what are the steps you will take through the criminal justice system?

1.When you call 101 or 999 The call handler will consider your needs based on the incident you are reporting, and they will inform you of how it will be dealt with and advise whether and officer will attend or not.

They will give you a crime reference number.

2.If officer attendance is confirmed, they will;  

  • if necessary, take a witness statement  
  • complete the Victim Contact Agreement  
  • explain and special measures, if necessary  
  • ask if you would like to complete a Victim Personal Statement (VPS)  
  • provide you with any relevant literature

3.The crime will be investigated and you will be informed if a suspect is arrested and charged. You will also be advised if no progress is made and the case is closed, and why.

4.We will submit the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

5. CPS will advise the officer whether the case can progress to court or not. If your case is going to court, you will be assigned a Witness Care Officer.

6. Witness Care will;  

  • contact you if you are needed to give evidence in court  
  • keep you updated about dates and locations of court hearings  
  • conduct a needs assessment and highlight any medical issues to the court  
  • explain the benefits of special measures and the VPS in court  
  • arrange a court familiarisation visit with the Witness Service  
  • arrange interpreters, travel, accommodation or child care if necessary

7. At court, the offender will be found guilty or not guilty

  • If found guilty, the offender will be sentenced in line with National Sentencing Guidelines, and the Witness Care Unit will provide a written update advising you of the final result and the sentence the offender has received.
  • If found not guilty, the process ends, and the Witness Care Unit will inform you of the decision.

 From the start of this process and right the way through, you can access a range of services to support and guide you.

Next - Victim satisfaction

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