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Victims

What to expect as a victim of crime in Nottinghamshire

What are Vicitms Services?

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Victims’ Services are voluntary organisations which offer victims of crime help and support to help them cope and recover after a crime. You have a Right to have your details automatically passed to victims’ services by the police within 2 working days of reporting the crime by the police.

In Nottinghamshire, we will seek your expressed permission prior to referring victims to support services. Once such service is Victim CARE

Specialist Support is available, depending on the crime reported.

  • Domestic Abuse

If you have been a victim of domestic violence or abuse the officer in charge of your case will ask you if you wish to be referred to specialist independent support, which may include help from an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA).

  • Sexual Violence

If you have been a victim of sexual violence, the officer in charge of your case will ask you if you wish to be referred to specialist independent support such as the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), which is also called the Topaz Centre, or the Asa service delivered by Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (NSVSS).

The Asa service is a single point of contact for all sexual violence needs, including Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA), counselling and therapy.  Both the Topaz Centre and Asa are independent from the police and offer specialist support tailored to meet individual victims’ needs.

How often will I be kept upto date with the investigation?

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You have the Right to be told by the police when key decisions on the investigation are made and, where applicable, to have the reasons explained to you within 5 working days (1 working day under Enhanced Rights of this Code) of a suspect being:

  • arrested
  • interviewed under caution
  • released without charge; and
  • released on police bail or under investigation or if police bail conditions are changed or cancelled

If the police decide not to investigate your case, you will be given an explanation of this decision within 5 working days (1 working day under Enhanced Rights of this Code). The police will also offer you a referral to a support service.

Where the police do investigate your case, they will discuss with you how often you would like to receive updates and your preferred method of contact. Nottinghamshire Police will provide you with an update every 21 days, unless agreed otherwise.

If the police or the Crown Prosecution Service decide not to prosecute the suspect and/or decide upon an Out of Court Disposal option, victims have the Right to be told within 5 working days or 1 working day under Enhanced Rights of the decision of:

  • the reasons for the decision
  • how to get further information
  • how to seek a review and make representations under the National Police Chiefs’ Council or the Crown Prosecution Service Victims’ Right to Review scheme; and
  • how to be referred to a support service

Where ever possible, the police will update you by your preferred means of contact.

What can I expect when I report a crime?

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Under the Victims' Code, you are entitled to receive the following from the police:

  • a clear explanation of what to expect from the criminal justice process when you report a crime; 
  • an assessment of your needs to help work out what help or support you may need. This will help to identify whether you are in one of the three categories of victim who may need enhanced support. Victims' Services may therefore do a more detailed assessment on behalf of the police; 
  • either written information on what to expect from the criminal justice system such as the "information for victims of crime" leaflet, or the details of a website which contains the same information, as soon as possible, and not later than 5 working days after reporting the crime; 
  • to be informed how often you will receive updates on the status of the case.
  • to be informed that if you are making a victim personal statement, that this may result in you needing to give evidence in court if the case goes to trial; 
  • an explanation, within 5 working days of a decision not to investigate a crime. 

If there is to be an investigation, you have the right to have the following informationand to have the reasons explained to you within 5 working days of a suspect being: 

  • arrested; 
  • interviewed under caution; 
  • released with no further action; 
  • released on police bail, or if police bail conditions are changed or cancelled.

Note: If you are a victim of the most serious crimes, persistently targeted or vulnerable or intimidated, you have the right to receive the above information within 1 working day.

You have the right to:

  • to be advised when an investigation into the case has been concluded with no person being charged and to have the reasons explained to you; 
  • to discuss and agree with the police different timings to receive the information and services above to suit your needs.

If you are a victim of the most serious crime, persistently targeted or vulnerable or intimidated, you have the right to the following from the police; 

  • to have information on Special Measures explained to you, where appropriate; 
  • to be referred to a specialist organisation, where appropriate and available; 
  • to receive information on being advised that a case has been concluded without charge; and 
  • to be asked if you wish to be informed if the investigation is to be reopened. The police must consider your views if the case is reviewed. 

If you are a bereaved close relative of a victim who died as a result of criminal conduct, you have the right to:

  • have a Family Liaison Officer assigned to you by the police, where the Senior Investigating Officer considers this to be appropriate. This will happen in the majority of cases; and 
  • be offered accessible advice on bereavement and information on available victims' services by the police. 

What information will the police provide me with if I report a crime or incident?

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If you report a crime or other incident, the police will need to ensure that they:

  • understand what you are telling them and that you understand what they are telling you; 
  • explain how they are going to deal with the matter; give an indication as to how long this will take; and 
  • give you a reference or crime number and details of a person to contact for further enquiries.

What are Enhanced Rights and how do I receive them?

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Enhanced rights are services which are offered to victims who are more likely to require extra support and services through the criminal justice process due to the nature of the crime they are victim of or because of their particular vulnerability as a victim.

There are three groups of victim who are entitled to receive enhanced entitlements:

You may be entitled to enhanced services under more than one category at the same time. For example, if you are under 18 years of age, you will be automatically eligible for enhanced services as a vulnerable victim regardless of whether you are also a victim of the most serious crime or are a persistently targeted victim. A victim of domestic violence is eligible for enhanced services as a victim of the most serious crime, but may also qualify for enhanced services as a vulnerable or intimidated victim.

All victims of criminal conduct are entitled to an assessment by the police to identify any needs or support required. The length and content of this assessment depends on the severity of the crime and your individual needs. The assessment will take into account your personal characteristics, the nature and circumstances of the crime and your views. The more information you are able to provide during the assessment, the more tailored the level of support will be to your individual needs.

Additionally, your needs may change while the criminal conduct is being investigated due to your health, intimidation or any other reason. Therefore service providers must give you the opportunity to be re-assessed if your change of circumstances is brought to their attention.

Once a service provider has identified that you are eligible for enhanced entitlements under this Code, that service provider must ensure that this information is passed on as necessary to other service providers with responsibilities under this Code and to victims' services where appropriate. Service providers should check with you first that you are content for them to pass on your information to victims' services.

If you do not fall into the three categories outlined below, the service provider may exercise their discretion and provide enhanced Rights under one of these categories depending on the circumstances of the victim concerned and the impact that the crime has had on them. It is important to note however that the service provider is not obliged to offer these services if you don't fall into one of the categories.

In relation to Enhanced Rights, what is a persistently targeted victim?

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You are eligible for Enhanced Rights under this Code as a victim of the most serious crime, if you are a close relative bereaved by a criminal offence, a victim of domestic abuse, hate crime, terrorism, sexual offences, human trafficking, modern slavery, attempted murder, kidnap, false imprisonment, arson with intent to endanger life and wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

In relation to Enhanced Rights, what is a vulnerable or intimidated victim?

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You are eligible for Enhanced Rights under this Code as a vulnerable victim if:

  • you are under 18 years of age at the time of the offence, or
  • the quality of your evidence is likely to be affected because you
  • suffer from mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • otherwise have a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning; or
  • have a physical disability or are suffering from a physical disorder

You are also eligible for Enhanced Rights under this Code as an intimidated victim if the service provider considers that the quality of your evidence will be affected because of your fear of distress about testifying in court.18

When assessing whether a victim is intimidated, the service provider must consider:

  • the behaviour towards the victim on the part of the suspect, members of their family or associates, or any other person who is likely to be a suspect or witness in the case
  • the victim’s age
  • if relevant, the victim’s social and cultural background, religious beliefs or political opinions, ethnic origin, domestic and employment circumstances
  • the nature and alleged circumstance of the offence to which the case relates (victims of a sexual offence or human trafficking will be considered to be intimidated); and
  • any views expressed by the victim

In relation to Enhanced Rights, which are the most serious crimes?

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You are eligible for enhanced rights under this code as a victim of the most serious crime, if you are a close relative bereaved by criminal offence, or a victim of:

  • domestic abuse
  • hate crime
  • terrorism
  • sexual offences
  • human trafficking
  • modern slavery
  • attempted murder
  • kidnap
  • false imprisonment
  • arson with intent to endanger life; and
  • wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent

Additional Enhanced Rights that are available for bereaved close relatives are highlighted separately within each individual Right of this Code.

What is a Victim Needs Assessment

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Upon reporting a crime we will conduct a needs assessment. By assessing your needs we will consider enhanced support if you are - a victim of serious crime, persistently targeted, vulnerable or intimidated. During the life of the investigation we will continue to review your needs to support you. This will include referral to support services where consent is given.

What kind of support can I expect as a victim of crime?

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Victims of criminal conduct, including bereaved relatives of a victim, should have access to information on the range of victims’ services that are available. These services may be provided by local or national organisations. You will be directed to victims' services where required at different stages, such as reporting a crime or attending court as a witness. Service providers must communicate with you in simple and accessible language, taking appropriate measures where possible (e.g. EasyRead, Braille or the use of a Registered Intermediary) to assist you to understand and for you to be understood.

How are witnesses treated during a police investigation?

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You have the Right to:

  • be treated with respect, dignity, sensitivity, compassion and courtesy
  • make informed choices that are fully respected
  • have your privacy respected by service providers in accordance with their obligations under the relevant privacy and data protection laws; and
  • have services provided to assist you and your family to understand and engage with the criminal justice process and that are offered in a professional manner, without discrimination of any kind

No one has been charged or I don’t wish to help with the investigation. Do I still have a right to the services?

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You have a Right to access services under the Victims’ Code regardless of whether anyone has been charged or convicted of an offence relating to criminal conduct and regardless of whether you decide that you do not wish to co-operate with the investigation. However, if you are considering making an application for criminal injuries compensation, you should be aware that an award will be withheld unless you have cooperated as far as reasonably practicable in bringing the offender to justice.

Whether or not you choose to assist or be involved in the police investigation, you still have Right to support from Nottinghamshire Care. Victim Support is completely independent of the police and offers a free and confidential service.

What is a Victim Personal Statement (VPS)

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You have the Right to make a Victim Personal Statement to explain in your own words how a crime has affected you, whether physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way. This is different from a witness statement. The Victim Personal Statement is considered by the judge or magistrate when determining what sentence the defendant should receive and can also help service providers to consider what additional support you and/or your family may require.

If you are a bereaved close relative, you have the Right to make a Victim Personal Statement and the Right to have someone with you when you do so, regardless of whether you have made a witness statement.

To help you decide whether you wish to make one, you have the Right to be provided with information about the Victim Personal Statement process by the police when reporting a crime. If you decide to make a personal statement, you will be asked for your preference about whether you would like to read your statement aloud in court or to have it read on your behalf. You can also request a copy from the police and will be given an opportunity to make an additional personal statement to reflect the changing impact of the crime.

If the defendant pleads guilty, or is found guilty, and you have asked that your statement is read aloud (or played) in court, the judge or magistrate will decide whether and what sections of your personal statement should be read aloud (or played), and who should read it. The judge or magistrate will always take your preference into account when making their decision, unless there is good reason not to do so. The Witness Care Unit will let you know the judge’s or magistrates’ decision.

You do not have to read your Victim Personal Statement yourself or have it read on your behalf. If at first you choose to have your personal statement read aloud but later decide you do not want this, you can change your mind. Your personal statement will be considered by the judge or magistrate in the same way, whether or not it is read (or played) aloud in court.

In addition to the named point of contact for a business being able to make a Victim Personal Statement, businesses of all sizes can make an Impact Statement for Business. This is similar to a Victim Personal Statement and will be used in the same way in court, but allows the business to explain how a crime has affected it, such as direct financial loss, operational disruption or reputational damage.

The named point of contact has the Right to be provided information about the Impact Statement for Business process by the police when reporting the crime, to help them decide whether the business wishes to make one.

Further information about the Victim Personal Statement and Business Impact Statement process is available from the police and at the government website.

What are Special Measures?

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Special measures are steps taken for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses, to help them to give their best evidence, whether during a police interview or in court. Such special measures should be tailored to the person's particular needs.

They can include:

  • Giving evidence in court from behind a screen
  • Giving evidence from outside the courtroom via live video link
  • Video recording your statement to be played in court
  • The removal of wigs and gowns by judges and lawyers
  • The assistance of a Registered Intermediary to help you to understand the questions you are being asked, either during a police interview or in court, and to give your answers accurately. Intermediaries are communication specialists who can help victims and witnesses who have difficulty communicating; they are not interpreters
  • Giving evidence in private by having the public gallery cleared

An application for any special measures that are required, should be submitting on behalf of the witness. The judge or magistrates will decide whether the special measures should be granted and the witness will be informed of their decision. If the application is granted, HMCTS staff will ensure that the measures are available and will provide assistance as required on the day.

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