Your Rights as a Victim

Victims of crime have a number of rights and this section will provide you with further information about these. 

The Victims' Code

The Victims’ Code is a statutory government document which explains what support and information victims of crime – both people and businesses – can expect. You are entitled to receive support if you were a victim of a crime which took place in England or Wales.

You are also entitled to support if you are a close relative of someone who has died as a result of a crime. Victims under the age of 18 are entitled to extra support.

The Victims’ Code was created to transform the Criminal Justice System by putting victims first. It highlights that victims of crime should be treated in a respectful, sensitive, tailored and professional manner without discrimination of any kind.

Victims are entitled to receive appropriate support to help them, as far as possible, cope and recover and be protected from re‑victimisation.

Victims and witnesses of crime are entitled to a minimum standard of service from the Criminal Justice System under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. These include:

  • the right to be referred to a support agency or given information about the types of support in their area;
  • the right to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) enabling victims and their families to say how they have been affected by the crime;
  • the right to be kept informed of the progress of their case, when there has been a major development such as an arrest or charge;
  • the right to be told if a charge has been withdrawn or a major change made to the charge;
  • the right to be told the dates of court hearings and if they will be needed as a witness;
  • the right to be informed about the outcome of the case.
Young female smiling showing an older female something on her tablet

Organisations required to provide services under the Victims' Code

  • The Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
  • The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • The First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation)
  • Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
  • Her Majesty’s Prison Service
  • National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
  • The Parole Board
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • All police forces in England and Wales, the British Transport Police and the Ministry of Defence Police
  • The National Probation Service
  • The UK Supreme Court
  • Witness Care Units
  • Youth Offending Teams.

Need to make a complaint?

If you feel you have not received the level of service set out in the Victims’ Code, you can make a complaint to the service provider directly. Service providers should have a clear complaints procedure through which victims can make a complaint.

The service provider must provide victims with details of the outcome of their complaint, and include information about how the victim can escalate their complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if they wish to do so.

Need support?

The Victim Care Service is here to help anyone affected by crime, not only those who experience it directly, but also their friends, family and any witnesses.

You can talk to us whether or not you have reported the crime to the police and our support is free and confidential. It doesn’t matter when the crime took place; we are here for you.