Victim of crime

Victim of crime

Being the victim or witness of a crime is a difficult and often traumatic experience. Below is a guide to assist you in understanding your legal rights and what to expect from the courts in terms of process, compensation and staying informed.

Reported Crimes by Offences
Reported Crimes by Offences
Source:homeoffice.gov.uk, 2008/2009

Get informed

ico4Frequently asked questions

  • Will I have to face the defendant in court?

    Not necessarily. If you qualify as an intimidated or vulnerable witness, you may be eligible for "special measures". This allows, for example, the court to erect a screen between you and the defendant or for you to give evidence by a video link. Detailed guidance on the many special measures available to protect witnesses is provided on the Crown Prosecution Service website

  • What happens after I report a crime?

    The police investigation into the crime should begin immediately after you report it. By law, the police must regular updates (at least monthly) about your case. They must also tell you if someone is arrested and charged for the crime, and provide clear information about whether you qualify for aid from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority .

  • Do I have to make a statement?

    No, you do not have to provide a statement if you do not want to. But if you fail to provide one the police may not be able to investigate the crime. If you feel uneasy about making a statement, you should know that you do not have to give it immediately. Another thing to note is that after you have made and signed your statement, it may become part of the prosecution case and all parties involved in the case, including the accused, will be able to read it.

  • Can I bring a private prosecution and/or sue the offender?

    Yes. Every citizen has the right to bring a private prosecution to enforce criminal laws. If you suffered an injury, property damage, or theft as a result of a crime, you may also be able to sue the perpetrator for compensation -- even if he or she is acquitted of all criminal charges.

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