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Victims Code of Practice
If you have suffered physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss, as a direct result of witnessing a crime, you are a victim of crime for the purposes of this Code and are able to access services that support victims.
You do not need to have provided a statement or have been interviewed by police, or be required to attend court as a witness.
Here at Northumbria Victim & Witness Service we will try to minimise the number of different people you have contact with during your case, and wherever possible, offer you a single point of contact for information. To assist us in delivering your rights under this Code, you should let us know if your contact details or preferences change.
You can ask us any questions if you are unsure about anything related to your case or the criminal justice process and give us your views on the services we are providing to help us deliver and tailor a high-quality service.
Victims Right to Review
The Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) Scheme gives victims the right to ask for a review of a police decision not to charge a suspect.
You have the right to request a review if the police decide not to charge someone or where the police decide that the case doesn’t meet the test for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide to charge someone.
Northumbria Victim & Witness Service will contact you to let you know if your case is eligible for the Victims Right to Review scheme. You will receive a letter which outlines the process and how you can progress your review.
VRR only applies where the decision is made not to charge or not to pass the case to the CPS to make a decision to charge someone.
It doesn’t cover decisions on whether a crime is recorded or whether an investigation into a crime can continue. If the CPS decides not to charge someone, their website here explains what you can do.
Cases That Can’t Be Reviewed
VRR doesn’t apply to cases where:
- A suspect hasn’t been identified and interviewed
- Only some of the charges are brought against some of the suspects
- A positive decision has been made about someone else in connection with the incident. This could include a range of outcomes. For example, community resolutions or a caution, through to charge and a court appearance
- The suspect is charged with a different crime from the one that was recorded and complained about by the victim. For example, the suspect is charged with common assault but an offence of actual bodily harm was recorded
- An out of court disposal has been given, for example, caution, a conditional caution or community resolution
- The victim withdraws their complaint, or refuses to cooperate with the investigation, so police decide not to charge or to refer the case to the CPS
Sometimes an investigation into an offence is ongoing, so even though police have made a decision on whether to charge someone, a VRR consideration may be postponed until the investigation is complete.