Supporting victims of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB)

If you have been a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour, the effects of your experience can go far beyond the crime itself and can cause you a considerable amount of inconvenience, worry or stress.


The decision to contact the police can, in itself, cause you stress and you may worry about the implications of reporting the crime.


North Wales Police are commited to supporting victims and witnesses during the criminal justice process. We, and those who work with us in the criminal justice system, will do all we can to help you feel safe, informed and supported.

 

If you are reporting a crime or anti-social behaviour:

  • Give us as much information as you can about what happened, what you saw and heard
  • Tell us if you are concerned about your own safety or that of your family – support is available
  • If you feel you have suffered harassment or fear of violence please let us know immediately.
  • Tell us if the crime/ASB was made worse by abuse or hatred related to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or disability
  • Tell us if you have any specific needs, such as religious requirements, mental or physical health issues, physical or learning disability, or any other that we should be aware of to help us provide you with the best possible service

 

What will we do for you?

When you have reported a crime or anti-social behaviour North Wales Police will:

  • Add the information about your case to a central database, which other officers can see. This can help to identify offenders, help recover stolen property and identify crime patterns
  • Consider all the facts and decide if your case can be investigated further.
  • During any ongoing enquiries you will be kept informed of progress. You will also be informed as soon as possible if it is decided that nothing further can be done regarding your case.
  • Write to you within seven days to tell you the crime number/ASB reference number for your case.
  • We will keep you regularly informed about your case, unless you ask us not to
  • The officer dealing with your case will give you their telephone and email details. Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers work shifts and may not be able to speak to you for some days. If they can contact you by email or text, this will allow them to keep you updated when they are working late or early shifts.

 

If you have been a victim of crime

For any offence other than minor car crimes, minor criminal damage or anti-social behaviour, we will provide details to Victim Support, who may contact you to offer their support. Victim Support offers victims individual support through the criminal justice system. This includes:
  • Support from a specialist worker
  • A check of what you need to help you
  • A support plan
  • Fast access to support seven days a week
  • One to one support
  • Co-ordination of services from other agencies, such as housing and health
  • Quick referral to specialist support agencies

 

You can find out more by visiting the Victim Support website
Contact them directly on 0845 6121900

 


 

If you are reporting Anti Social Behaviour

Victim Support can offer you support and assistance, but you will not be automatically referred to them by North Wales Police. Contact them directly on 0845 6121900

 


 

If you have witnessed a crime

Victim Support’s Witness Service can help you, and your family and friends, if you are required to go to court.

You can find out more by visiting the Victim Support website.

 

You can also find more information at www.direct.gov.uk.  If you don’t have internet access, your local library will often provide this service.

 


 

link to victim personal statementVictim’s Personal Statement (VPS)

The Victim’s Personal Statement (VPS) is separate to your normal witness statement and gives you the opportunity to tell the court how the crime/ASB has affected you and those close to you. The court will take this into account when sentencing. You don’t have to make one, but it is necessary if any application is made to the court for a restraining order. You can make a VPS now or you can make one or update one at any time.  More information about VPS is available at www.direct.gov.uk

 

Stolen property

Sometimes stolen items are recovered but can’t be linked to specific crimes or reunited with its owners. If you’ve had property stolen please make sure you give a detailed description and, if possible, a photograph.

 

I feel intimidated, what should I do?

It is a criminal offence to intimidate or frighten a witness or anyone helping the police in an investigation.

If you feel you have suffered harassment or fear of violence please let us know immediately.

 

If someone is arrested, who will decide if the case goes to court?

This depends upon the nature of the offence and whether the accused admits the offence or not.

For the more minor offences or those that have been admitted, the police are empowered to make the decision. For most other offences the police present the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and they will decide if the person should be charged and, if so, with what offence.

 

Can I ask for a review of a decision to take No further Action against a suspect?

If you have been advised that No Further Action is to be taken against a suspect and you disagree with the this, you have the right to ask for that decision to be reviewed.  The officer will inform you of whether the decision was taken by the CPS or by the police. You can then write to the appropriate address as below.  Please include: your details, the offence, the defendants name(s) and the case reference number if known.

CPS Decision;

Via email: CPSDirect.Enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk or

By telephone: 01904 545 592 between 0900 and 1700 hours Monday – Friday or

In writing to: CPS Direct,  6th Floor, United House, Piccadilly, York. YO1 9PQ

Police Decision:

Head of Corporate Services, North Wales Police Headquarters, Glan-y-Don, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8AW.

 

Will I have to attend court?

Most court hearings are resolved without victims or witnesses having to attend to give evidence.

If you are called to attend court the Witness Care Unit will contact you to explain the process and advise you of the support that is available.

The Witness Care Unit is staffed jointly by the police and the CPS. They are there to help make your court appearance as easy as possible and can offer practical support with things such as transport and child care. They can also arrange for you to visit the court before hand so that you know what to expect.

The Court Witness Service will personally offer you support at the court. Their services are confidential and available to you before, during and after the court hearing.

There are a number of websites provided by the criminal justice agencies to help you understand what will happen at court. See Resources list on right hand side of this page.

 

If you have communication difficulties

If you feel you will need help to make yourself understood in court you can ask the police officer dealing with your case to arrange for a person known as an intermediary to help you during the hearing.

 

Special measures

Some witnesses qualify for special measures to be put in place during the court hearing because of their age or the type of offence they witnessed.

The Judge or Magistrate will decide what special measures can be given to help vulnerable or intimidated witnesses to give evidence.

 

Special measures include:

  • Screens to shield a witness from the offender
  • A live video link so that the witness can give evidence without being in court
  • Evidence being given in private
  • Video recorded evidence
  • An intermediary
  • Communication aids

 

If you feel you need special measures please tell the officer dealing with your case as soon as possible in order that they can be applied for.

Resources

Ministry of Justice:

You be the Judge - an interactive guide to sentencing

 

Crown Prosecution Service:
Victims & Witnesses website

 

DirectGov:

Advice for Victims & Witnesses

 

DirectGov:

Going to Court as a Victim or Witness

 

Ministry of Justice:

Victims & Witnesses website

 


 

Downloadable Resources

 

link to going to Court booklet

1.3MB .pdf

 

your child is a witness leaflet

484kb .pdf

 

being a witness

444kb .pdf

 

code of practice - victims of crime

108kb .pdf


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