Bedfordshire Police Headquarters

Bridgebury House, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire, MK43 9AX

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Office of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Support For Victims

Victims’ Code of Practice

TheCode of Practice for Victims of Crime (VCOP or Victims Code) was updated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in November 2020 and came into effect on 1st April 2021. It sets out the rights for victims of crime and the standards that must be provided to victims by organisations in the criminal justice system. These include the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), court services and more.

The Victims’ Code is based on 12 clearly defined rights and promotes victims’ of crime being treated in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner without discrimination of any kind.

Victims' Code in image form

The Victims Code ensures:

  • Victims of all crime types get access to vital services, like pre-trial therapy and counselling.
  • Close relatives of somebody who has been killed as a result of a crime or those who are a parent or carer of a victim of crime aged under 18 also have the right to support.
  • Enhanced services are available to victims who are considered vulnerable or intimidated, are victims of the most serious crime (for example domestic abuse, hate crimes, sexual offences and including a bereaved close relative) or have been persistently targeted.
  • The police will maintain contact with victims throughout the investigation process based on how often the victim chooses to be contacted. The police will keep victims informed of progress in the investigation (e.g. arrests are made or suspects are charged).
  • Victims are automatically referred to victims’ services by the police for emotional and practical support. This can include specialist support for children, victims of sexual offences, or victims of domestic abuse.
  • In addition to a witness statement, victims can make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) explaining how the crime has affected them physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way. A VPS can be read in court at the choice of the victim.
  • Special measures options at court and out of court disposal options such as restorative justice process are explained to victims.

These are just some of the matters covered in the Victims’ Code. The full Victims’ Code can be accessed here in an accessible format. 

Victims Code Rights

Click on the images below to find out more about the 12 clearly defined rights within The Victims’ Code. 

Victims Code of Practice in image form
Victims Code - to make a complaint about your rights not being met
Victims Code - to be given information about the offender following a conviction
Victims Code - to be paid expenses and have property returned
Victims Code - To be given information about the outcome of the case and any appeals
Victims Code - To be given information about the trial, trail porcess and your role as a witness
Victims Code - To make a victim personal statement.
Victims Code - To be provided with information about the investigation and prosecution
Victims Code - To be provided with information about compensation
To be referred to services that support victims and have services and support tailored to your needs
Victims Code - To be provided with information when reporting the crime
Victims Code - To have the details of the crime recorded without unjustified delay
Victim Code - to be able to understand and to be understood