Guidance and advice for victims and witnesses of crime.
Every victim has a different experience of the criminal justice system. Your individual journey depends on the nature of the crime, the outcome of the police investigation and local differences in victim services.
Our guidance on what to expect from the justice system is designed to help you at the different stages of your journey. In particular we want you to know your entitlements under the Victims’ Code.
Victims’ Code and Witness Charter
Victims and witnesses of crime have certain entitlements. For example, the police must give you a written acknowledgement that you have reported a crime.
The Victims’ Code and Witness Charter set out what needs to be done and when, but they are often silent on how it should be done. We also know that the empathy and respect from providers can make a world of difference, but that these things are not easily captured in a code of practice.
Know your entitlements
The Victims’ Commissioner has long campaigned for improvements to victims’ services, and important changes are starting to happen. For now, though, your best reference to the entitlements is the current guidance for victims on GOV.UK.
We know that this guidance can be overwhelming for victims and witnesses. So we’ve produced this guide on what to expect from the justice system that highlights your entitlements at every stage.