Advice for Victims and Witnesses

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.

Pdficon Small Information for Victims of crime

Pdficon Small Victims Code of Practice

Pdficon Small Victim of Crime (letter)

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, we 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
  • Keep you informed of progress during any ongoing enquiries. 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.
  • 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

The North Wales Victim Help Centre is here to help anyone affected by crime, not only victims, but their friends, family and any other people involved. We support victims of every type of crime including Anti-Social Behaviour.

The crime doesn’t have to be recent. If you were a victim of crime historically, we will still be here for you.

The Victim Help Centre will also support young victims of crime, under 18 years old.

The Victim Help Centre will ensure that the needs of victims will be at the heart of everything we do.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner
Winston Roddick CB QC

Services we can provide

  • Emotional support – we are here to listen
  • Practical support – such as applying for Criminal Injuries Compensation and securing your home
  • Information and signposting to specialist agencies and support
  • Advocacy – act as your voice with agencies
  • Criminal justice process – helping you to understand your rights under the Victims Code and supporting you throughout the Criminal Justice Process if your case goes to Court
  • Case workers – we have a dedicated mental health and wellbeing case worker as well as a Hate Crime case worker who can provide the right support to stop you feeling isolated and frightened and can provide you with assistance in reporting a crime and attending court

Contact us
Victim Help Centre North Wales
St Asaph Business Park
St Asaph
Denbighshire
LL17 0HQ

Tel: 0300 30 30 159

Email: northwales.helpcentre@victimsupport.org.uk

Website: www.victimhelpcentrenorthwales.org.uk

Text: Relay 18001

Twitter Handle: @NW_VHC

Open hours:

8:00am - 8:00pm Monday to Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm Saturday

If you do not wish for your details to be passed to the Victim Help Centre, please contact us direct on 01745 588846.

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 0300 30 31 982

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.

Victim’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.

As a victim I have been told that No Further Action is to be taken against a suspect, can I ask for a review of this decision?

If you have been advised that No Further Action is to be taken against a suspect and you disagree with this, you may have the right to ask for that decision to be reviewed. The review will be completed by people not involved with the original investigation/decision.

Qualifying Cases

The Victim Right to Review will only apply to National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) offences.

It will only apply to cases in which a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution, either following an arrest or by voluntary arrangement.

The following cases DO NOT fall within the scope of Right to Review scheme:

  • cases where no suspect has been identified and interviewed, for instance investigations that are filed ‘at source’;
  • cases where charges are brought in respect of some (but not all) allegations made or against some (but not all) possible suspects;
  • cases where a charge is brought that relates to the matter complained about by the victim but the offence charged differs from the crime that was recorded; for instance the suspect is charged with common assault but an offence of actual bodily harm has been recorded;
  • cases which are concluded by way of out of court disposal
  • cases where the victim retracts their complaint or refuses to co-operate with the investigation and a decision is therefore taken not to charge or refer the case to the CPS for a charging decision.

It should be noted that the Right to Review specifically relates to decisions not to prosecute and does not cover crime recording decisions or decisions not to continue with enquiries

The officer when advising you of the No Further Action 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
  • By telephone: 01904 545 592 between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday – Friday
  • In writing to: CPS Direct, 6th Floor, United House, Piccadilly, York, YO1 9PQ

Police Decision:

Useful Links

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.

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.

Feedback

Your views about the service you receive are important to us and can shape the way we do things in the future.

Victim Help Centre