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A victim's right to review (VRR) relates to the right for a victim to ask for a review of a decision not to prosecute a suspect. It is important to note the right to review is not a complaint about service.
Nottinghamshire Police has a scheme which enables a victim of crime in certain circumstances to ask for a review of decisions made not to prosecute or progress and investigation involving a suspect.
The purpose of a review is not to apportion blame but to secure justice and when identified, learn lessons which can be shared with officers to improve the quality of decision making.
Any victim in a qualifying case where a decision is made not to prosecute is entitled to seek a review of that decision. A victim is defined as per The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2013 (Victims’ Code): ‘a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct’. This includes:
VRR will only apply to cases in which a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution, either following an arrest or by voluntary arrangement. An ‘interview’ in this context is intended to cover situations where a suspect has an allegation put to them in some detail as opposed to limited questioning that might take place in the immediate aftermath of an incident, for instance during a stop and search.
The right of a victim to request a review arises where the police:
The following cases do not fall within the scope of police VRR:
The Victim Right of Review came in to effect in April 2015. It relates only to decisions made from the 1 April 2015, not to prosecute. The crime may have occurred before 1 April 2015 however.
A Victim has the right to request a review within 3 months of being notified of the decision not to prosecute.
All victims should be notified of their right to ask for a review at the point they are informed of the decision not to prosecute.
If you have a copy of the Victim Information Pack or have viewed the victim information page on our website, you will find details which briefly explain the right of review.
You can contact Nottinghamshire Police by email to exercise you right of review. You will be asked to answer a number of questions to help us find your investigation and confirm your eligibility to ask for a review.
A review will be allocated to a Review Officer of Inspector or more senior rank, dependant on the nature of the investigation. The Review Officer will contact you and explain the process including how they plan to conduct the review.
The Review Officer will approach the case afresh and reach their own conclusion regarding whether a prosecution should be brought, whether the matter should be referred to the CPS, whether further enquires are necessary or that no further action should be taken.
The Review Officer will not assess whether the original decision was justified based on the process that was taken to reach it.
The method of communicating the outcome of a review with a victim may be determined on a case by case basis; review decisions should be confirmed in writing, unless the circumstances of the case make it inappropriate to do so or the victim has stated that they do not wish to receive written communication.
Nottinghamshire Police operate a single tier review scheme with no further right of appeal by the victim.