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Your Rights as a Victim of a Crime

By: Liz Lennox - Updated: 14 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Human Rights Victims Crime Law Victim

Nobody ever wants to be a victim, and hopefully we will never be faced with the pain or trauma of a crime being committed against us, or the aftermath. However, if we are, no matter how powerless we may feel, we still have rights.

Reporting a Crime

When you report a crime to the Police they have to abide by the very strict ‘Code of Practice for Victims of Crime’. Among other things this code ensures that you will be informed, within 5 days of your report, whether or not they intend to pursue an investigation.

If they do decide to investigate then you, as the victim, have the right to be informed of their progress on a monthly basis, at the very minimum, until they have finished their investigation. Similarly, if anyone is arrested and/or charged, then you have the right to be informed straight away.

If that person is then released on bail you have the right to know within 5 days, within a day if you are considered to be in danger.

If they do not investigate, or their investigation does not lead to a conviction that you are happy with then you have the right to take out a private prosecution but this is very expensive and you must make sure you take legal advice first.

Protection

Once you have reported the crime against you then there are many ways in which you, and your family, are entitled to be protected from intimidation or further offences by the criminal in question (or their friends and family). If the particular offender has a history of intimidating witnesses, or a string of other offences to their name, then the Police can decide to provide you with dedicated emergency phones, panic alarms and 24 hour surveillance of your home. If there is a proven danger to you or your family’s safety then they can also provide you with long or short term safe-housing or even change your identity and relocate you to a new life.

Victim Support

There can be nothing as distressing as being a victim of a crime, especially if that crime is violent in nature. The Code that the Police have to follow includes referring your case to the Witness Service and they can provide a dedicated counsellor who will help you deal with the feelings of powerlessness, anger or shock that can follow. You do not have to use this service but they are there to help you deal with what has happened, their expertise is invaluable and, no matter how tough you may think you are, it always helps to talk to someone.

Privacy from the Press

You may think that the crime against you was stressful enough, but this could be compounded by unwanted media interest. The Police may release details of the case to the media, in order to help themselves investigate the offence, but if this worried you then you have the right to tell them that you would rather your name was kept out of it. If the crime against you was sexual in nature then it becomes a criminal offence for anyone to release your details, nor are they permitted to release details of minors that may be involved, even peripherally.

What About Freedom of the Press?

While the media does have a right to freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights, they have a responsibility towards you and your family to respect your private life and that of your family. The Convention does not give them free reign; it balances the two needs to, hopefully, the satisfaction of everybody.

The Crown Prosecution Service

As a victim you will have no say in how a prosecution is handled, no input into the decisions made and no right to appeal if they decide not to prosecute the offender. What you do have is a right to be informed, within 5 days, of any decision that makes a significant difference to the way in which the case is handled. You could be informed by letter, phone or, if the offence relates to a death, child abuse, racially-based offences or sexual offences, by face-to-face meeting.

In Court

You may have reported the crime that started the ball rolling but in Court you will not be a party to the proceedings, this is the sole arena of the Prosecution and Defence Counsel. You will have no right to representation and no legal status. You do have rights in relation to compensation orders, reparation and mitigation and, of course, the full support of the witness service.

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[Add a Comment]
When on remand are they allowed to lock someone in a cell on their own for 22 to 24 hours a day with no daily exercise? Study's show this can send a person mentally ill.
JS2012 - 14-Jun-17 @ 12:57 AM
In the last 2 years I have been subjected to inhumane treatment by; . Local Authorities . G.P (S) . A certain Residential Judge . Lawyer I no longer have any trust in all of the above, for what they all have done is just unbelievable.These people can and have abused their power of authority. Who do we turn when all else fails?, Who should we be trusting to protect us? The Justice system we do have is failing and turning a blind eye.
mxmc - 11-Mar-17 @ 9:34 PM
SB - Your Question:
My husband has been charged with no insurance while driving, by City police. The officer has said that that is what it is for now, so he may be looking to prosecute for more taking it to court. Complication: my husband has a record for driving offence etc when he was younger. But years clear since.He was driving a TFL registered vehicle, hired from a hire company. He was working on the Uber platform. The vehicle was supposed to be insured by the hire company for working as a cab (hire & reward insurance). When he went to pick up the car, all the paperwork was ready to sign- the hire agreement clearly stated the 'lessor' will organise the insurance. He had a copy of the insurance to keep in the car as required for a cab. They even had helped him upload the documents to his uber account from their computer. (insurance documents etc). He paid deposit and had been paying weekly rental.At the time the police stopped him, they said the insurance was not right and he was not properly insured. Apparently the insurance only covered the 'employees' of the hire company to drive. They took the car and his phone. They said once the car is picked up, they will return his phone. The next day the hire company sent someone to pick the car up and my husband went to get his phone. They told him his going to be charged for no insurance while driving. Today we find out the sergeant is also planning to do him for fraud. So the hire company said that they gave the car to him for him to sort his own insurance. And the insurance copy my husband has is not like the original copy (which they gave to police) and that he must have 'tipp-exd' out something about 'drive away & employees bit. Now my husband only has the the hire agreement which clearly states they are to sort the insurance (and they themselves admit it is a tfl registered vehicle for hire). Yet they say it was agreed for him to get insurance? The insurance document was a copy and there is noway my husband could see that it was interfered with. So they hire company is basically saying my husband tipp-exed out THEIR insurance document so he could drive a uber car. He went to them specifically as they deal with taxi drivers hiring to work on the uber platform and paid them weekly for a Uber vehicle insured and everything so it was less hassle for him. He even asked them he only wanted for a month just to see if it was worth ubering. They allowed it. My husband is currently doing the knowledge of london. And this was a way to earn money, free up time and help him with the knowledge while his out on the road. There is no way we would risk anything to have his license revoked, tfl license. The initial solicitor has said he can't get legal aid. Problem is he has done nothing wrong and to avoid a heavy sentence his been told to plead guilty. to fraud and no insurance! Which means his knowledge and everything he uses to work is gone. We want to fight this as it is this com

Our Response:
Unfortunately we can't give any advice here - it will be up to your husband to try and fight these charges himself if he isn't eligible for legal aid and cannot afford legal representation. Citizen's Advice might be able to help if he has all the evidence available to take to them.
AboutHumanRights - 21-Nov-16 @ 2:29 PM
My husband has been charged with no insurance while driving, by City police. The officer has said that that is what it is for now, so he may be looking to prosecute for more taking it to court. Complication: my husband has a record for driving offence etc when he was younger. But years clear since. He was driving a TFL registered vehicle, hired from a hire company. He was working on the Uber platform. The vehicle was supposed to be insured by the hire company for working as a cab (hire & reward insurance). When he went to pick up the car, all the paperwork was ready to sign- the hire agreement clearly stated the 'lessor' will organise the insurance. He had a copy of the insurance to keep in the car as required for a cab. They even had helped him upload the documents to his uber account from their computer. (insurance documents etc). He paid deposit and had been paying weekly rental. At the time the police stopped him, they said the insurance was not right and he was not properly insured. Apparently the insurance only covered the 'employees' of the hire company to drive. They took the car and his phone. They said once the car is picked up, they will return his phone. The next day the hire company sent someone to pick the car up and my husband went to get his phone. They told him his going to be charged for no insurance while driving. Today we find out the sergeant is also planning to do him for fraud. So the hire company said that they gave the car to him for him to sort his own insurance. And the insurance copy my husband has is not like the original copy (which they gave to police) and that he must have 'tipp-exd' out something about 'drive away & employeesbit. Now my husband only has the the hire agreement which clearly states they are to sort the insurance (and they themselves admit it is a tfl registered vehicle for hire). Yet they say it was agreed for him to get insurance? The insurance document was a copy and there is noway my husband could see that it was interfered with. So they hire company is basically saying my husband tipp-exed out THEIR insurance document so he could drive a uber car. He went to them specifically as they deal with taxi drivers hiring to work on the uber platform and paid them weekly for a Uber vehicle insured and everything so it was less hassle for him. He even asked them he only wanted for a month just to see if it was worth ubering. They allowed it. My husband is currently doing the knowledge of london. And this was a way to earn money, free up time and help him with the knowledge while his out on the road. There is no way we would risk anything to have his license revoked, tfl license. The initial solicitor has said he can't get legal aid. Problem is he has done nothing wrong and to avoid a heavy sentence his been told to plead guilty.... to fraud and no insurance! Which means his knowledge and everything he uses to work is gone. We want to fight this as it is this com
SB - 19-Nov-16 @ 2:52 PM
Yeah, eesh. I am starting to think that though constituted, the rights to the children and the victim isn't always present. Also, no TOILETRIES? I know you are restricted in prison, but having no toiletries is wrong. Jesus Christ, this is a really stupid police force, allowing someone to steal a kiddy is discombobulating and totally wrong. Comments Below
Dylan Vole - 26-Nov-15 @ 9:22 AM
HOW CAN SOMEONE BE BAND FROM A HOSPITAL FOR TRYING TO SNATCH A NEWBORN BABY AND END UP GETTING THE BABY.THE HEALTH VISTOR SAID REPORT HIM FOR WHAT HE WAS DOING TO THE BABY TO THE POLICE BUT HE STILL GOT AWAY WITH IT.HE HAS GOT AWAY WITH PUNCHING ME IN MY BREAST AND ARM IN N13 AND TRYING TO TURN OVER THE PRAM WITH MY BABY IN IT.HE HAS GOT AWAY WITH PUNCHING ME IN MY BREAST AND MY ARM AGAIN IN EDMONTON N18, HE DID THAT IN EDMONTON BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER RAN OVER TO ME SAYING MUMMY I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO COME HOME WITH YOU AND DANILEL AND SHAUN HER BROTHERS,THE POLICE DID'NT HELP CAMERAS WERE AROUND BUT THE POLICE IGNORED WHEN I HAVE REPORT IT.THIS LITTLE GIRL SCREAMED HER HEART OUT WHEN HE ENTERED MCDONALD'S IN FORE STREET AND RAN UNDER THE TABLE AND WOULD NOT COME OUT.THIS IS THE WORST THING TO OF EVER HAPPEN TO ANYBODY ON THIS EARTH.HE KNOWES HE HAS DONE WRONG THIS IS WHY HE KEEPS RUNNING WITH MY DAUGHTER.
miss x - 12-Aug-15 @ 2:25 PM
I would like to know why my partner who has been sentenced to 12 months will serve 3 months has not been inducted in to the prison system has not been informed of the process to arrange visitation for her 2 under 8 children and myself, she has not been informed what water is safe to drink she is in smoking block howevergiven a single room she is subjected to smoke most of the time from she walks to and from her cell through smoke filled corridors for her meals, shower etc, she has not been given addition toiletries because she has not been inducted and does notknow the system,she was convicted and sent to prison with no personal items as she was not informed prior to the court case that she may be imprisoned ,i have contacted the prison on 3 or more occasion and have also raised this with my mp is this the way that someone should be treated in prison as a 1st time offender ??
challenger1 - 27-Jun-15 @ 1:12 AM
I have to go crown court charged with fraud. I was a 3rd party on somebody's account, and the older gent allowed me to treat myself to some nice things I have never had before. I loved this, he was like a dad to me. Now people are saying I shouldn't have spent his money and abused my position of trust. He now has dementia and is saying he did not allow this to happen, and his family have sided with him. Where does that leave me. I'm so stressed, sunk into another depressive episode and absolutely beside myself. I would rather die than go to prison, I have never been treated like this before, have lost my job, and worst of all, I can't contact the older gent who I miss so much. I would never hurt anyone in this way. Please help. I'm 50 and for me life is over.
Jay - 4-Jun-15 @ 11:28 PM
I have been subjected to torture since 2009 as a vulnerable adult by all local authorities who became disabled then I have been subjected to pshycological torture since 2011 I receive no form of help from any source and refused medical help since 2009. Lost.
Anton Torture Victim - 4-Apr-15 @ 3:14 AM
My future son in law has been waiting for nearly two years for his case to be heard he was in court in September 2014. The case was adjourned till April 2015 the witnesses did not turn up my future son in law did not commit the crime he is being set up by his old friend one of the witnesses. He is quite prepared to wait but now the barrister representing him has a more pressing case at the same time. How can they do this when the boy has already had to go to court for something he didn't do now he has to go through it all again with a different barrister I don't think this is right at all.
Redforever - 11-Mar-15 @ 2:34 PM
@bowjangle54 Take a closer look at the Prison Act for more information.
AboutHumanRights - 8-Dec-14 @ 11:38 AM
As one of the comments above I too would like to know how it is not a breach of human rights for prisoner's to be locked up for up to 23 hours a day, having to eat in the cell with an open toilet and no facilities for washing the plastic cutlery and plates that they are given apart from running under a tap.Also not to be allowed into an exercise yard because of staff shortages, it's inhumane!!!
Bowjangles54 - 5-Dec-14 @ 1:42 PM
My partner and his friend went into a prison as convicted prisoners for a crime that his friend fully admitted to committing, though this was not enough for the Jury. The prison has said that there have been recent changes to various areas and this has been due to their cut in staff employed. My partner has had a reception visit but none of his 2 a month he is entitled to. We want to do an application for appeal against the conviction and sentence and he needs to meet with me to discuss the content of the appeal as it appears the solicitor is not interested, but he has said that the staff on his level at the prison are very lazy and have so far not responded to 4 separate requests he has made for visits. It takes over a week for letters to get to me & he has only a few days left to submit an application for appeal, which we have no hope of doing at this point. I contacted the charity connected to the prison stating my concern for his mental health welfare and received no response, though they said they would. I contacted the prison directly and spoke to the department concerned for prisoner welfare and they said they would look in on him, I spoke to him and he has said that nobody has been in to see him. He has made suicidal attempts in the past, so my concerns are not being taken seriously. I feel as though his rights to see family & access the justice system are being violated, but there is fear that should he or I put in a complaint, he will be mistreated by officers. Having known people who have worked in the prison service, our fears are very real. Though this article is very helpful in knowing his rights, accessing them seems to be a massive challenge that can't be won. As someone once said to me, "the prison service is the most secretive organisation in the UK. No one really knows what goes on behind the doors".
Livid - 24-Aug-14 @ 9:43 PM
My son is serving a sentence for something he shouldn't be, the appeal is taking 4ever, however my question on his behalf is about reviews being done on time. He should be reviewed for Cat D status and the person supposed to be doing it has gone on holiday!!There are others there who should have theirs through, still waiting, who were interviewed in early June.Given that you are supposed to be at a cat D for 3 months before you can even be considered for home leave, this has implications for the Christmas period. Surely, if one staff member is sick/ on leave, you draft in another???To whom, or how, do we complain? OYASIS? The prison Governor?( the latter seems to take 8 weeks as standard to reply about anything).Might one dare to hope that there is some sort of day for day compensation scheme at the other end, where early release on licence gets brought forward if categorisation and transfer has been unecessarily delayed?
Don'tsufferfoolsgla - 8-Aug-14 @ 5:16 PM
How far can they send a prisoner from his family as our son has been sent 150 miles away and cost alot to visit 73.00 per adult return on the train or 50.00 in fuel plus the time traveling
geoffers - 12-Oct-12 @ 4:20 PM
im up crown courts for the offences of possess an offencive weapon in a public place and also use threatening/abusise/insulting words /behaviour to cause/alam/harassment/alam /distress and also to bring/throw/conevy A prohibited into/out of a prison - prison ach 1952 and i am on trail for this and im not guilty i feel like im being set up because i have been in the county courts fighting for my 4 children fo 5 years and now this is nothing like me in what so ever i feel like im being punised for lose in my chidren in the county courts to whom i sill have contact with so why whould i realy mess it up after 5 years fughting the local alltoritiys
vikk - 26-May-12 @ 5:48 PM
my partner has been waiting for approx 3yrs for a particular course.He's been moved around to various prisons to accomadate him on this matter.He was suppose to have been starting this December.Due to other prisoners also waiting to do this course,who are coming specifically to the prison where he is,they are been put before him.WHY?They now tell him he MIGHT be on the next take in March.Are there no waiting lists.Has anyone else they know been in this predicament?
porky - 26-Nov-11 @ 8:40 PM
id like to know why the prisons feel it is fine to lock prisoners up for 14 hrs a day, without means to a drink, and force them to eat meals in a cell containing a toilet that has no lid, or any form of keeping toilet matters private, especially when there is more than 1 person in that cell, surely no1 should be made to eat or live in an oversized wc
shorty85 - 13-Sep-11 @ 7:41 PM
All I want to know is, why is it permited for a prison to stop the inmates purchasing basic toilitries as a punishment?
Cid - 25-Jul-11 @ 1:07 PM
your site was very good - well infomative as someone who knows nothing of life inside. could do with question/answers frequently asked section
cathy - 15-Jul-11 @ 9:33 AM
Congratulations for your good work, but my suggestion is try to condense your material so that to contain more points on particular subject matters.
mido - 29-Apr-11 @ 8:27 AM
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