Victims and Witnesses


If you have been a victim of a crime of any nature, you may wish to gain advice and information on any queries you may have throughout the life of the investigation.  We understand the importance of putting the victim at the heart of everything we do, and are dedicated to making the victims experience an excellent one.


If you have been a witness of a crime it can be very daunting, especially when appearing in court.

Here, you will find a comprehensive range of pages to support you throughout the investigation. The information is intended to answer any questions you may have regarding the process of being a witness.

Support during the investigation

If you have been a victim of crime, you may be wondering what to expect once you have reported the crime. Below are a few questions and answers to help with any queries you may have. If you cannot find what you are looking for below, try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions page’ (FAQ) or alternatively contact the Victim Care Unit (01522 947510).

What is a victim?

A victim is classed as a person who is,

  • The direct victim of a crime
  • The relatives of deceased victims
  • Parent/guardians of juvenile victims
  • A named person within businesses

What steps do the police have to take with regard to victims of crime?

  • The Police must be in contact with the victim within 72 hours of reporting a crime
  • The Police must supply the victim with a victim of crime leaflet within 5 working days
  • The Police must notify the victim within 5 working days if the crime has been finalised
  • Where no suspect is arrested the victim must be kept up to date on at least a monthly basis of the investigation up until the end of enquiries
  • If a suspect has been arrested and dealt with such as no further action, caution, bailed, penalty notice for disorder or any other non-court disposal, the Police must notify the victim within 5 working days

Support when going to court

Victims and Witnesses

When the suspect has been charged to court the victim may wish to know what to expect from the Police. Below is a list of duties that the police will carry out when the incident goes to court. If you have any further questions, please check the FAQ page or contact the Witness Care Unit (01522 947560) who will assist you with your query.

  • The police will carry out a full needs assessment in all victims who may have to give evidence
  • Inform the victim within 1 day of receiving the information regarding the court date
  • Answer any queries the victim may have
  • Notify the victim within 4 days if the suspect failed to appear at court and a warrant was issued and also when the suspect is arrested on the warrant

Informing the victim can include by letter, telephone, personal visit, fax, text message or email, if you do have a preference, please inform the officer dealing with your case.

Vulnerable victims

Vulnerable victims are to be provided with an enhanced service. Vulnerable victims must be informed within 1 working day is a suspect has been arrested, a warrant has been issued or the suspect failed to appear in court. A Vulnerable victim is:

  • Children under the age of 17 at time of giving evidence
  • Any person suffering from a mental disorder
  • Any person suffering from a learning difficulty
  • Any person who is physically disabled
  • Any witness whose evidence is likely to be diminished through fear of distress
  • Any victim of domestic or sexual abuse
Updated: 10th June 2015 at 12:44

Frequently Asked Questions

Date Created: 1st June 2015  Last Updated: 16th June 2015

Glossary of Police and Criminal Justice Terms

Date Created: 1st June 2015  Last Updated: 10th June 2015

Restorative Justice

Restorative processes bring those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.
Date Created: 22nd October 2014  Last Updated: 9th February 2015

Useful Contacts

A list of useful organisations and contacts in relation to victim support
Date Created: 2nd June 2015  Last Updated: 10th June 2015

Victims' Code of Practice

The code sets out what victims can expect from those people dealing with your crime, from first point of contact through to charge and/or outcome.
Date Created: 14th February 2014  Last Updated: 9th January 2015