Supporting Victims

Date published: 26 April 2018 08:35

What happens after you have reported a crime to us?

An officer will normally contact you within five days of a development in the investigation of your case and in some cases, if you are eligible, within one day; other updates will be provided at regular intervals following discussion between you and the officer in your case.

We are dedicated to placing you at the centre of our service. We will conduct a thorough investigation and do our best to bring criminals to justice.

Our aim is to keep you and your community safe from harm. Even if our efforts do not lead us to a suspect straight away, police officers often link current suspects to old investigations. If this happens, your case may be reviewed and the suspect interviewed. You will be kept informed of all developments should they arise.

Supporting Victims

Download our booklet which provides you with information about the support you are entitled to and useful contact details of other supporting agencies you can access.

Vulnerable victims

Our role is not only about responding to crime; it’s also about protecting vulnerable people within communities. A vulnerable adult is an adult who has needs for care and support and is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and are unable to protect him or herself.

Along with our partner agencies, we give an enhanced service to vulnerable people who have been a victim of more than one crime or incident within a twelve-month period.

This multi-agency approach will ensure that if you are identified as a vulnerable victim, you will receive the correct care and support.

If you feel you are a vulnerable victim or know someone who is vulnerable and you believe they are a victim of crime or antisocial behaviour, report it to us by calling 101 for non-emergencies or 999 in an emergency.

Restorative Justice

As a victim of crime, you may be able to take part in Restorative Justice. This is when you have contact with the offender, either directly or indirectly. Both you and the offender need to agree for the contact to take place. It gives you the chance to tell the offender what the impact of their crime has been, seek an apology and get answers to any questions.

You may also be asked about what type of action you would like to see an offender undertake to help repair some of the damage done by their crime.

Any interaction that you agree to take part in with the offender will be overseen by a trained Restorative Justice Practitioner.

Restorative Justice is always voluntary – you do not have to take part, and offenders must agree to enter in to the process for the right reasons.

For more information about Restorative Justice or to ask about the possibility of taking part, you can visit restorativesouthyorkshire.co.uk, call free on 0800 561 1000, or text SYRJ to 82055.

Victim Personal Statement

Making a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) gives you a voice in the criminal justice process.

A witness statement allows you to explain what happened to you, whilst a VPS lets you say in your own words how a crime has affected you physically, emotionally or in any other way.

You can discuss this with the investigating officer or witness care officer.

For more information on Victim Personal Statements, click here.

Victims' Code of Practice

The Victims’ Code of Practice sets out the service you can expect from us and other criminal justice agencies from the moment you report a crime to the end of a trial in court.

The code explains your entitlements and includes details about the extra support available..

To read the Victims’ Code, click here.

Recovering your vehicle if stolen

If you have reported your vehicle as stolen and we then find it, we will arrange for a local recovery agent to collect and store the vehicle. This helps to protect your vehicle and reduce the risk to road users if the vehicle has become dangerous to drive.

A forensic examination of your vehicle may also take place, in an effort to identify offenders.

You will be advised of your vehicle’s location. It is then your responsibility to arrange to collect it. The agent will charge a recovery fee. This fee does not go to South Yorkshire Police; it covers the agent’s costs for recovering and storing the vehicle safely.

We appreciate that this process can be frustrating for victims of car crime, but it is important for everyone’s protection. The use of a recovery agent is a nationally agreed process, followed by all police forces in the country. If we did not arrange recovery of the vehicle, we could be liable for anything that happened to it, or other road users, while awaiting collection.

You can make your own arrangements for payment of the agent’s fee, but your insurers may deal with this on your behalf, so you may wish to inform them. If you do not collect your vehicle when advised to do so, you will be liable for any storage fees that accrue on a daily basis for each day the vehicle remains in the agent’s yard.

If you locate your vehicle and decide to move it yourself, without involving us, please remember:

  • You do so at your own risk, we accept no responsibility if your vehicle is damaged or stolen while you are arranging recovery
  • You must inform us (by calling 101) that you have recovered your vehicle, so that the vehicle is no longer registered as stolen on the Police National Computer
  • You are advised to have your vehicle checked by a mechanic once recovered, to ensure that it is roadworthy.

Right of Review Scheme

The police Victims Right of Review (VRR) scheme came into effect on 1 April 2015 and applies to all recorded crime offences.

The intention of the scheme is to give you a way to appeal a decision not to prosecute.

The right of a victim to request a review happens where the police:

  1. Make a decision not to bring proceedings in cases where the police are able to charge or
  2. Make a decision that the case does not meet the relevant threshold for referral to the CPS for a charging decision.

You are allowed to request a review within three months of being notified of the case being filed, as this is the period during which they can request a judicial review.

Who can apply?

Any victim in a qualifying case where a decision is made not to prosecute (as identified in 1 and 2 above) is entitled to seek a review of that decision.

How to apply for VRR.

Where you feel that you meet the above criteria, you can apply via email to Police_VRRS@southyorks.pnn.police.uk or in writing to Performance & Governance Business Support Unit, Carbrook House, 5 Carbrook Hall Road, Sheffield S9 2DB.

Requests will then be reviewed to ensure they meet with the qualifying criteria and confirmation of receipt, progression or otherwise, will be sent to you. Any requests will be dealt within 30 working days.

CPS - Right to Review scheme

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also operates a process called the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme, which makes it easier for you to seek a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges against a suspect or to terminate proceedings.

If this is the case, our officer will contact you to inform you about the CPS decision not to charge and they will advise you who you can contact to review your case.

Victim Contact Scheme

The National Probation Service runs the Victim Contact Scheme. You’ll be invited to join the scheme if the offender in your case has committed a violent or sexual crime and been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison. This could include receiving a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

If you join the scheme, you’ll be given a Victim Liaison Officer (VLO) who'll keep you up to date with what’s happening with the offender. For further information about the scheme, click here.

Community Trigger

The Community Trigger is a process that individuals and communities can use to request a review of their case if they feel agencies have not taken action in respect of their antisocial behaviour (ASB) complaints.

The Community Trigger is intended to encourage a collaborative problem-solving approach among police, councils and other relevant bodies when dealing with serious and persistent cases of antisocial behaviour, to identify whether further action can be taken to resolve the problem.

For more information, and how to activate the Community Trigger, click here.

Impact Statement for Businesses

If your business has been targeted by criminals and you report this to the police, you can make an Impact Statement for Business (ISB).

The ISB gives you the opportunity to set out the impact that a crime has had on your business such as direct financial loss and wider impacts e.g. operational disruption or reputational damage. The court will take the statement into account when determining a sentence.

You should be informed about the opportunity to make an ISB by us at the same time as we take statements about the alleged offence.