Text Size

Current Size: 100%

What is a Victim Personal Statement (VPS)

Share by emailShare by email

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.