Victims’ Rights in the UK: A Guide to Your Legal Rights
Being a victim of a crime can be a traumatic experience, and it is important that you know your legal rights in order to protect yourself and seek justice. In the UK, there are various laws and regulations that provide protections for victims of crime, and this article will provide you with a guide to those rights.
The Victims’ Code of Practice
The Victims’ Code of Practice is a statutory code that sets out the minimum standards of service that victims of crime should expect from criminal justice agencies in England and Wales. The Code applies to victims of all types of crime, including those who have suffered physical or emotional harm as a result of the crime.
Under the Victims’ Code of Practice, victims have a number of rights, including:
- The right to be kept informed about the progress of their case.
- The right to make a Victim Personal Statement, which is a written or oral statement about the impact of the crime on the victim.
- The right to receive information about support services available to them.
- The right to be informed about the outcome of the case, including any sentence or other disposal.
- The right to request a review of a decision not to prosecute.
- The right to apply for compensation for the injuries and losses they have suffered as a result of the crime.
The Victims’ Code of Practice also sets out the responsibilities of criminal justice agencies, such as the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the courts, in relation to victims of crime.
Victim Personal Statements
One of the key rights afforded to victims under the Victims’ Code of Practice is the right to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS). A VPS is a written or oral statement that allows victims to describe how the crime has affected them physically, emotionally, and financially. The statement can be read out in court or considered by the judge when making sentencing decisions.
The purpose of the VPS is to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process and to ensure that their views are taken into account when decisions are being made.
There are a number of support services available to victims of crime in the UK. These include:
- Victim Support: a national charity that provides emotional and practical support to victims of all types of crime.
- The National Centre for Domestic Violence: a charity that provides free, fast emergency injunctions to victims of domestic violence.
- The Rape Crisis Centre: a network of specialist rape crisis centres that provide support to women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.
- The NSPCC: a charity that provides support and advice to children who have been abused.
Victims of crime in the UK may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and losses they have suffered as a result of the crime. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-funded scheme that provides compensation to victims of violent crime. GLP are one of the country’s leading Firms’ in helping support victims to make compensation claims to the CICA.
To be eligible for compensation, the victim must have reported the crime to the police and cooperated with the criminal justice process. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the severity of the injuries and the financial losses incurred as a result of the crime.
Experts at GLP
Being a victim of a crime can be a traumatic experience, but it is important to know that there are legal rights and support services available to you. The Victims’ Code of Practice sets out the minimum standards of service that victims of crime should expect from criminal justice agencies, and the right to make a Victim Personal Statement gives victims a voice in the criminal justice process. Support services such as Victim Support, the National Centre for Domestic Violence, and the Rape Crisis Centre can provide emotional and practical support to victims, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may be able to provide compensation for the injuries. GLP are experienced Solicitors with unique expertise in accessing the support you require through the CICA. Get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat about you.