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Code of Practice for Victims of Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2005
24 pages
This Code of Practice for Victims of Crime contains the entitlements for crime victims in the United Kingdom.
The Code provides needs assessment to assist victims in receiving the support they need; information on what to expect from the criminal justice system; referrals to organizations that support crime victims; and to be informed about the police investigation. Other key entitlements are to make a victim personal statement (VPS) that explains how the crime has affected the victim, as well as to have the VPS read aloud to the court if a defendant is found guilty. A crime victim is also entitled to be given the following information: whether or not the suspect is to be prosecuted; how a victim can seek a review of prosecutorial decisions in his/her case; the time, date, location, and outcome of any court hearings; whether the victim needs to give evidence in court; and any appeal against the offender's conviction or sentence. In addition, a victim is entitled to opt into the Victim Contact Scheme if the offender is sentenced to 12 months or more for a specified violent or sexual offense. Other key entitlements are to apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme; to receive information about restorative justice options and how victims can participate; and to make a complaint if victim entitlements are violated. The Code entitles victims of serious crimes, persistently targeted victims, or vulnerable or intimidated victims to receive enhanced services. The Code distinguishes entitlements for adult victims and for child and adolescent victims.