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Information for victims

Anyone can become a victim of crime. A victim is defined as “a person who has been harmed (physically, financially or emotionally), injured or killed as a result of a crime, accident or other event or action”.

The definition of a victim can also include;

  • families or friends of a person who has died as a result of criminal conduct
  • families or friends of victims in fatal road collisions
  • nominated representatives of a business that has been the subject of a criminal activity.

Our Victim and Witness Hub offers support for victims.

Reporting a crime

We recommend you report a crime to us as soon as possible. We are never too busy to listen and we want to know about any type of crime you report to us, so we can try to stop the same thing possibly happening to someone else.

To start an investigation, we review the details you have told us regarding the suspected offence.

You may be asked to give a statement, which an officer will write down for you and will ask you to read and sign it, as it may used as evidence in court.

When you reporting a crime to us, you will be given a crime reference number and we will put you in touch with our Victim and Witness Hub (unless you don’t want us to).

Updates about your crime report

You will be contacted if a suspect is arrested and detained by police for questioning and you will be told about the outcome of their interview, including any charge, appearance at court or bail conditions, for example.

If an offender is under 18 years of age, you may be contacted by your local Youth Offending Team (opens in a new window) about taking part in community resolution.

Investigating a crime

We will look at all the information available to us including forensic, visual or audio evidence.

If there is a scene of a crime, a crime scene investigator may attend to record the details found at the scene which will be linked with details reported by you, the victim. Any updated forensic evidence, such as DNA or fingerprints, will be compared regularly against the national DNA or fingerprint databases.

Your case may be looked at alongside other similar cases to identify any patterns or likenesses. Managing investigations in this way often helps us find the offenders and stop a crime from happening again.

Criminal cases taken to court

When a suspect is identified and charged, your case will become part of the criminal justice process. As a victim, you can be supported by our Victim and Witness Hub before and during any court hearing.

More information on how cases are dealt with by courts can be found on GOV.UK (opens in a new window).

Closing a criminal case

There are times when an investigation will be closed with no further action, where all lines of enquiry have been dealt with and there is not enough evidence to support further investigation.

This happens when there aren’t sufficient lines of enquiry and no further information is given to us. However, cases continue to be assessed at intervals and can be reopened if new information is provided or crimes of a similar nature begin to form a pattern.

Further information for victims and witnesses

For more information about the support available to victims and witnesses you can visit the Victim Services website.


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