Your rights as a victim of crime
Anyone who has experienced a crime has the right to receive a certain level of service from the criminal justice system.
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime explains your rights in full. This document tells you what you can expect from each criminal justice agency, including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts.
If you decide to report a crime, by law, you should:
- receive written acknowledgement confirming you have reported a criminal offence. This must include the basic details of the reported offence;
- have your needs assessed and where additional support is needed, a referral should be made to the appropriate support services. The following categories of people are entitled to an enhanced level of service: those aged under 18; victims of the most serious crimes and victims who are vulnerable; intimidated or persistently targeted;
- be given information regarding the investigation in simple and accessible forms;
- be made aware that you have the right to be accompanied by an appropriate person (such as a partner, relative or close friend) at the first police interview unless it hugely affects the investigation;
- be notified of a decision not to proceed with or to end an investigation. Such information should be provided in a timely manner; and
- receive information regarding Northamptonshire Police’s Right to Review process.
Victims of crime can also be called as a witness in cases that proceed to court. If this happens, you have the specific legal right to:
- request special measures in court if you are a vulnerable or intimidated witness;
- claim for any expenses incurred as a witness in a criminal trial;
- ask court staff if you can enter the court building through a separate entrance from the defendant, their family and friends;
- request interpretation into a language you understand when giving evidence as a witness; and
- meet the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) advocate or representative and to ask them questions about the court process, where possible.
Use the My Voice tool to learn more about your rights and the process of being a victim of crime.