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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 are entitled to have the following information and 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 are entitled to receive the above information within 1 working day.

You are also entitled:

  • 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 are entitled 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 are entitled 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.