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Code of practice for victims

The Ministry of Justice has published a new Code of Practice for Victims.  This came into force on 10 December 2013.  The Code explains what information, services and support victims of crime can expect to receive at every stage of their journey through the criminal justice system. 

The Victims' Code sets out clear entitlements for all victims including adults, children and young people and places a duty on organisations within the criminal justice system to ensure these are delivered. The code includes detail about the information; services and support victims are entitled to receive at every stage of the criminal justice process and identifies who is responsible for making sure this happens.

New provision has been made for enhanced entitlements to be provided to victims who are most in need, namely:

  • Victims of the most serious crime
  • Persistently targeted victims, and
  • Vulnerable or intimidated victims

Key improvements to the new Victims' Code include:

  • Strengthening the voice of the victim by putting the victim personal statement under statutory code and for their statement to be reads aloud in court
  • A separate chapter for businesses and an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to make an impact statement, so that their voice is fully heard
  • Information will be provided on restorative justice for victims of adult offenders
  • An improved complaints process so that victims are better able to hold criminal justice agencies to account if things go wrong
  • A new dedicated section for victims under 18 years of age and their parents and guardians

The other main agencies given duties under the code are:

  • Police
  • Courts
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Probation
  • Prison Service
  • Parole Board
  • Witness Care Units
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission

Read the full copy of the code of practice for victims on the website

More help and support

Useful Downloads (for print)

If you have been the victim of a crime and you have a comment or something to say about the service you received the police and crime commissioner would like to hear from you.