Information for victims and witnesses

Officer giving member of public information

Being a victim of crime is a distressing experience. Cambridgeshire Constabulary aims to support people through this difficult time by providing a service which meets your needs.

These pages are designed to give you information about the care you can expect from us, and links with information about partner organisations which may be of interest to you or some help.

If you have other questions or are uncertain about anything, please contact the officer in charge of the investigation by calling us on 101.

If you are not happy with the service we provide, please let us know. Your comments will help to improve our service. You can call us or go to your local police station.

The Victimís Code

  • A right to information about their crime within specified time scales, including the right to be notified of any arrests and court cases.
  • A dedicated family liaison police officer to be assigned to bereaved relatives.
  • Clear information from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) on eligibility for compensation under the Scheme.
  • All victims to be told about the Victims’ Hub and either referred on to the team or offered their service.
  • An enhanced service in the cases of vulnerable or intimidated victims.
  • Flexibility with regard to opting in or out of receiving services to ensure victims receive the level of service they want.
A finger print

Who is a victim?

  • Direct victims of a crime
  • Families or nominated representatives of a person who has died as a result of criminal conduct
  • Families of victims in fatal road collisions
  • Nominated representatives of a business which has been the subject of criminal activity

Close support for victims also helps brings offenders to justice by encouraging the process of:

  • Reporting offences
  • Identifying suspects
  • Providing evidence in statements
  • Attending court
  • Giving evidence

What should a victim do?

  1. Report a crime as soon as possible. Never think we are not interested or too busy to listen. We want to know and need to know to try to stop the same thing happening to someone else.
  2. An initial investigation will be made in person or over the phone and details of the offence will be recorded. You may also be asked to give a statement to a member of the constabulary who will write it down for you. You will be given a crime reference number and, unless you don’t want the service, will be put in touch with the Victims’ Hub.
  3. As part of the investigation we will look at all the information available to us including forensic and any visual or audio evidence. If there are no immediate lines of enquiry, your case will be investigated with other, similar cases. Often, by identifying patterns and similarities within batches of crime we are able to find the offenders, recover stolen property and stop the problem.

    There are times when the investigation will be closed. This happens when no viable lines of enquiry are found and no further information is given to us. However, a case will continue to be assessed at regular intervals and will only be closed for good if there are no further lines of enquiry, or where all lines of enquiry have been conducted and there is not enough evidence to support further investigation.
  4. If a crime scene investigator attends, their report of details found at the scene will be linked with those details reported by a victim. Any updated forensic evidence such as DNA or fingerprints will be compared regularly against the national fingerprint database and the national DNA database.
  5. We will seek your agreement on how often and for how long you want to be kept informed of progress with your case. We aim to update you every month and for so long as is deemed reasonable and to improve on this by contacting victims and witnesses every seven days if they wish, either by phone, text or email.
  6. Victims will be updated if a suspect is arrested and detained by police for questioning. Victims will be told of the outcome, including any charge leading to an appearance at court or bail conditions such as a suspect having to return to a police station at a later date to help further with investigations - or being told to have no contact with a victim or any others involved in a case.

    An alternative form of prosecution may be used, such as a caution or reprimand. Victims will also be told of this procedure. If an offender is under 18, victims may be contacted by the youth offending team about taking part in what as known as a community resolution.
  7. Once a suspect has been identified and charged the case will become part of the criminal justice process. Victims will be supported by our dedicated Victim and Witness Hub who will make contact before any court hearing, offering all the help they can and identifying any special requirements. The investigating officer will also stay in touch. For more information on the criminal justice system and how a case may progress please visit www.gov.uk/courts.
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