Victims of crime
Surrey Police are committed to making Surrey the safest county it can be. To live and work in, visit or travel through. If however you have unfortunately been affected by criminal activity then Surrey Police will be there to support you. We understand how upsetting it can be and we are here to provide practical information about the service you can expect to receive from Surrey Police and about your rights, as well as someone to talk to who understands what you are going through.
If you have been a victim of crime it is important that you report the crime to us, you can use the online reporting tool or call 101.
In an emergency always call 999.
What can I expect from the Criminal Justice System?
This leaflet contains information about what you can expect from the criminal justice system as a victim of crime. It also contains information about organisations you can contact for free advice, practical information or emotional support.
The Victims' Code
Surrey Police comply with the specific commitments under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
As a victim of any crime you are entitled to certain information, services and support from criminal justice organisations, including the police and the courts.
The Victims’ Code explains what you can expect from moment you report a crime until after a trial has finished. You may also find this summary of the Victims’ Code useful: Victims of Crime: Understanding the support you can expect.
Alternatively, there are videos available on YouTube:
Frequently Asked Questions
Your report will be assessed to decide the best course of action. It may be resolved over the phone or may need further investigation, or the benefit of specialist knowledge before it can be resolved. When you report your crime you will be told if it has been resolved or needs further investigation and you will be given your unique crime reference number.
Your crime will be allocated to an officer in charge (OIC) who will investigate any lines of enquiry to try and bring those responsible to justice. The officer will contact you within 72 hours to introduce themselves (unless you are a priority victim – please see Priority Victims of Crime), explain what lines of enquiry they will be following and agree with you how and when they will keep in contact. All victims of crime are also entitled to receive a written acknowledgement of the crime they are reporting. The OIC will also explain the support services available.
If the crime you reported is being investigated, you may be asked to give an evidential statement.
A statement is an important written account of what you have seen or heard, meaning it should ideally be made as soon as possible, which will be used to inform the police during the investigation and to submit evidence to the court in order to bring offenders to justice.
Your statement will be taken by a Police Officer or a member of Police Staff, who will write the statement on your behalf. They will also explain the process to you.
If you have given a statement to the police then you may be called to give evidence at court if the suspect is arrested, charged and pleads Not Guilty. But not all those who make a statement go to court, only those witnesses required by the Crown Prosecution Service. If the suspect is not charged or pleads Guilty, you will not be called.
Be assured, none of your personal information recorded on the back of the written statement will be disclosed to the defendant or their solicitor. The defence will only receive a copy of the statement for review.
You have a right to voice how the crime has affected you physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way. Making a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) allows you to explain your feelings on record to help the police and courts understand the crimes impact on you.
Relevant parts of your VPS can be read aloud in Court during the defendants sentencing to be taken into consideration by the judge in sentencing and will be disclosed to the Defence. However, making a VPS is voluntary and no pressure will be placed on you to make one.
The officer in charge of your case will explain the VPS to you when they first make contact or take a witness statement, however you can read this easy document about how to make a victim personal statement.
Throughout the investigation the officer in charge (OIC) will contact you in line with the agreement made with you to update you with how your case is progressing. They will also contact you if:
- Someone is arrested for the offence
- A suspect is interviewed under caution
- A suspect is bailed
- A suspect is charged
- All enquiries have been completed and the case will be closed
We will ensure those victims identified as ‘priority’; vulnerable, intimidated, persistently targeted, or victims of the most serious crimes are offered an enhanced service. This includes (but is not an exhaustive list):
- Children under 18 years of age at the time of the offence
- Any person suffering from a mental disorder or learning disability
- And person who is physically disabled
Priority victims of crime must be contacted after their crime has been received and updated within 24 hours.
Further details of enhanced entitlements and responsibilities can be found in the Victims’ Code
The officer in charge (OIC) will provide you with their contact details when the first make contact with you. Alternatively, you can call Surrey Police on 101 or 01483 571212 and give the name of the officer in charge or your crime reference number.
Victim Support is the independent national charity that helps victims of crime, witnesses, family, friends and anyone else affected across England and Wales. They will listen to you in confidence and the support they provide includes information to guide you through the process, emotional support to help you through a traumatic time and practical help to pick up the pieces.
Their services are free and available to anyone. Victim Support is not part of the Police, the Courts or any other Criminal Justice agency.
Their trained volunteers offer:
- Someone to talk to in confidence
- Information on police and court procedures
- Help in dealing with other organisations
- Information about compensation and insurance
- Information on other sources of help
Your details may be passed to Victim Support after you report you are the victim of crime, unless you ask us not to. Victim Support endeavour to contact as many victims of crime as possible. If you do receive support but feel you would like some, you can contact Victim Support directly through the National Victim Supportline 08 08 16 89 111 at any time.
Surrey Police will provide all businesses and enterprises (such as charities), no matter the size, with services under the Victims’ Code that they are entitled to. If your business is the victim of a crime, it will receive services provided a named point of contact has been given for all communication between the business and Surrey Police.
You can submit an Impact Statement for Businesses (ISB), which will be offered to the name point of contact and may be taken at the same time as a witness statement, or one can be completed later and sent to the officer in charge. The ISB gives you the opportunity to inform Criminal Justice Agencies and the Court about what impact the crime has had on your business e.g. financial, physical or/and reputational.
You can say whether your business would like to have relevant parts of the ISB to be read aloud in Court during the defendants sentencing. What is read is at the discretion of the Court and it must not express any opinion on sentencing or the defendant’s punishment. The content of the ISB and the impact on the business will be taken into consideration by the judge during sentencing.
If you or a member of staff are also victims of the same crime and personally affected, making an ISB does not prevent an individual victim from making a separate Victim Personal Statement.
The officer in charge of your case will explain the ISB to you when they first make contact or take a witness statement; however you can read this Impact Statement for Business document that reiterates important information, provides a statement template and an example.
In cases when a suspect has been identified by the police and interviewed under caution, a victim has a right to request a review where the police:
- Decide not to prosecute where they have the authority to charge
- Decide that the case does not meet the threshold for referral to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision.
Any victim of an eligible case is entitled to seek a review. This also includes:
- close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct
- parents or guardians where the main victim is under 18 years of age.
- Police Officers who are victims of crime
- a family spokesperson of victims with a disability or victims that are so badly injured that they cannot communicate
- businesses providing they give a named point of contact
The right to review only applies to decisions made on or after 1 April 2015. You will be told if you are eligible for a review by the officer dealing with your case. The following cases are not eligible for review:
- cases where no suspect has been identified and interviewed
- cases where the charge differs from the crime that was recorded
- cases dealt with by way of out of court disposal
- cases where the victim retracts their complaint or refuses to co-operate
If you are eligible, you can request a review within three months of being notified of the decision of the case being filed. Where possible, we will complete the review and let you know the decision in writing within six weeks of receiving your request for a review. If this is not possible we will let you know.
To trigger a review, complete the Surrey Police ‘Contact Us’ form. If you have a crime reference number, please include that in the form. Your request will be acknowledged within 10 working days.
Surrey Police is working hard to improve victim satisfaction and ensure you receive the best service possible.
If you want to tell us about your experiences – whether they are good or not so good – we would really welcome your feedback to help us improve our service, you can complete our online form here.
Surrey Police conduct regular surveys using a trusted external company on our behalf to monitor how our service meets public expectations. As a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour you may be contacted by telephone and asked if you would like to participate in a survey about your experiences with the aim to continuously improve our service.
If you have any concerns of queries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org