We're now part of the York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority

14 February, 2024

Commissioner Zoë welcomes new Victim’s Code

Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe
The Victims’ Code is a practical guide to help victims of crime understand what they can expect from the criminal justice system.  It sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive in England and Wales.
As the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) unveils a national Victims’ Code Campaign today (14 February 2024) signposting victims of crime to new, dedicated resources building awareness of the code,

Zoë Metcalfe, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for York and North Yorkshire said:

“It is important that victims of crime understand and know what support they should receive throughout their justice journey.

“Here in North Yorkshire I commission a wide range of services for victims of crime, and if you’ve been a victim of crime and need help  to help to cope and recover go to www.supportingvictims.org

APCC Joint Victims lead Nottinghamshire PCC Caroline Henry said:

“Victims of crime must remain front and centre of the criminal justice system. As PCCs, we strongly support this campaign which will ensure victims know and understand the support they should receive throughout their justice journey and the legal obligation of criminal justice agencies to deliver it, and ensure they are listened to, informed, and treated with fairness and dignity.  We also advocate clear and detailed promotion of the action available to victims should they feel let down by the system and that their rights have not been upheld.

“As local commissioners of support services for victims of crime, PCCs are already working hard to deliver the professional and practical help victims need to cope and recover from these traumatising experiences.  We also advocate on behalf of victims, engaging directly with those with lived experience, and those that support them, to deliver improvements that build confidence in policing and the justice system and encourage future reporting.  This campaign will support that work and drive greater awareness of victims’ rights and the framework in place to hold criminal justice agencies to account.

“We have been working closely with the Ministry of Justice to develop key areas of the Victims and Prisoners Bill.  It is a critical piece of legislation, strengthening the Code and placing a renewed responsibility on agencies to report against its requirements.  While it is essential that victims know their rights, we are clear that statutory agencies and frontline workers should be the experts in delivering their responsibilities under the code. PCCs will monitor progress closely and will continue to scrutinise the department and work with our partners to deliver the best outcomes for victims.”

Supporting Victims

Supporting Victims helps people living in North Yorkshire to cope after crime, and get their lives back to normal as soon as possible.
www.supportingvictims.org

Commissioned services

Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales (Victims’ Code)

Summary of Victims’ Rights

1. To be able to understand and to be understood

You have the Right to be given information in a way that is easy to understand and to be provided with help to be understood, including, where necessary, access to interpretation and translation services.

2. To have the details of the crime recorded without unjustified delay

You have the Right to have details of the crime recorded by the police as soon as possible after the incident. If you are required to provide a witness statement or be interviewed, you have the Right to be provided with additional support to assist you through this process.

3. To be provided with information when reporting the crime

You have the Right to receive written confirmation when reporting a crime, to be provided with information about the criminal justice process and to be told about programmes or services for victims. This might include services where you can meet with the suspect or offender, which is known as Restorative Justice.

4. To be referred to services that support victims and have services and support tailored to your needs

You have the Right to be referred to services that support victims, which includes the Right to contact them directly, and to have your needs assessed so services and support can be tailored to meet your needs. If eligible, you have the Right to be offered a referral to specialist support services and to be told about additional support available at court, for example special measures.

5. To be provided with information about compensation

Where eligible, you have the Right to be told about how to claim compensation for any loss, damage or injury caused as a result of crime.

6. To be provided with information about the investigation and prosecution

You have the Right to be provided with updates on your case and to be told when important decisions are taken. You also have the Right, at certain stages of the justice process, to ask for decisions to be looked at again by the relevant service provider.

7. To make a Victim Personal Statement

You have the Right to make a Victim Personal Statement, which tells the court how the crime has affected you and is considered when sentencing the offender. You will be given information about the process.

8. To be given information about the trial, trial process and your role as a witness

If your case goes to court, you have the Right to be told the time, date and location of any hearing and the outcome of those hearings in a timely way. If you are required to give evidence, you have the Right to be offered appropriate help before the trial and, where possible, if the court allows, to meet with the prosecutor before giving evidence.

9. To be given information about the outcome of the case and any appeals

You have the Right to be told the outcome of the case and, if the defendant is convicted, to be given an explanation of the sentence. If the offender appeals against their conviction or sentence, you have the Right to be told about the appeal and its outcome.

10. To be paid expenses and have property returned

If you are required to attend court and give evidence, you have the Right to claim certain expenses. If any of your property was taken as evidence, you have the Right to get it back as soon as possible.

11. To be given information about the offender following a conviction

Where eligible, you have the Right to be automatically referred to the Victim Contact Scheme, which will provide you with information about the offender and their progress in prison, and if/when they become eligible for consideration of parole or release. Where applicable, you also have the Right to make a new Victim Personal Statement, in which you can say how the crime continues to affect you.

12. To make a complaint about your Rights not being met

If you believe that you have not received your Rights, you have the Right to make a complaint to the relevant service provider. If you remain unhappy, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.