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Advice for victims

Being a victim of a crime can be a difficult time.

If you've been the victim of a crime, you have the choice whether or not to report it to the police. If you want to report a crime the police will believe you and talk you through the process.

Reporting a crime

In an emergency call 999. You should call 999 if you or someone else is in direct danger or if a crime is happening right now.

At Cheshire Police we try to answer all calls within 10 seconds. You will speak to a friendly member of Cheshire Police staff who will talk through the situation with you and will send Police officers to see you if you need them too.

If you need to report a crime to the Police but it is not urgent, no one is in danger or hurt and the crime has already happened, ring 101. If you call 999 and it is not an emergency then it will take use longer to deal with someone else who might need our help.

What happens after you contact the Police?

When you have reported a crime, we will let you know what happens next. You are entitled to the same service as adults.

  • We will inform you whether or not the crime is being investigated further
  • If the investigation is closed, we will give you the reasons why
  • If your case is investigated further, we will give you information about its progress. You have a right to be kept informed about your case, so do ask your police contact for updates.

You are entitled to the same service as adults. In some cases you may be entitled to other support such as an appropriate adult staying with you while you make a statement or are interviewed by the police.

Protecting you

If anyone contacts you in a threatening way during an investigation or a trial, you should tell the police straight away. This is a crime. The Police can stop these types of people coming near you or contacting you again by creating something called a ‘restraining order’.

How you can help

When you report a crime, there are a few things you can do to help with the investigation:

  • Give your statement to the police. Your statement is you telling us what happened and will be written down so that it can be used in evidence. It is very important that your statement is completely true so only tell us things you know are true. For example if you can definitely remember that someone had a dark coloured hoody on but cannot remember what colour it was only tell us it was dark coloured and don’t say black or blue.
  • Tell us if you remember anything more about what happened after you made your statement.
  • Tell us if you think the crime happened because of your race, sexuality, religion, disability or gender identity. Do not make this up but it is important that you tell us anything offensive or abusive that was said or did.
  • Let the police know if you have any special needs - for example, if you have a disability, you speak a different language or you have religious requirements.

If someone is arrested and charged, then the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to take the case to court.

If your case goes to court, you will be contacted before the trial by the Witness Care Unit. They will look after you, give you important information and let you know how the case is going from then on. They will also organise you going to court and offer support.

As a young witness, you may be entitled to ‘special measures’. This could involve placing a screen between the witness box and the defendant or giving evidence with the help of a specialist.

This video has been created by the Ministry of Justice to give help and advice to victims and witnesses, who may have been asked to give evidence in a court case. (MoJ vid on current site)

The Victims' Code of Practice

The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime sets out what can expect from the Police and other criminal justice agencies - such as the courts  - when you have reported a crime. The Code makes sure, for example, that you are kept up to date on the progress of your case. As a young person, it also makes sure that you are given special consideration.

Cheshire police have designed a Victim Information Pack for all victims of crime which explains what you can expect from us from the moment you report a crime right through to when the trial has finished at court. This provides a guide to the services and support you can receive.

If you or your parents or guardians are not happy with the service you receive from Cheshire Police, you can make a complaint under the Code.

For more information about the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime or to make a complaint, visit the Your Rights section on the DirectGov website.

Victims' Right to Review

If you are unhappy with a Police decision not to prosecute a suspect then there is a scheme called the Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) which gives victims (you or your parents/guardians) the right to request an official review. For more information visit the Victims' Right to Review page.