Over the coming weeks the OPCC will be releasing information relating to each of the remaining 12 rights within the Victims’ Code. Each release will cover one or more of the rights.
Right 10 – To be paid expenses and have property returned
Summary of right 10
If you attend court to give evidence, you have the right to claim certain expenses from the Crown Prosecution Service, for example, for travel, child care, loss of earnings, refreshments and meals (further details are available on the Crown Prosecution Service website). The Witness Care Unit will be able to help if you have any questions about claiming expenses.
The Crown Prosecution Service will pay any expenses due to you within 10 working days of receiving a correctly completed claim form.
If the police took any of your property as evidence, you have the right to get it back as soon as it is no longer required. The police will be able to help if you have any questions about the return of your property.
Local processes in Bedfordshire, key information and support
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
- The CPS is responsible for paying allowances and expenses to witnesses who are called to give evidence in prosecutions conducted by the Service.
- The CPS aims to pay 100% of correctly completed witness expense claims within 10 working days of receipt of a valid claim.
- Witness expenses are calculated, approved and paid by the Finance Business Services Wakefield (FBSW).
- A proportion of claims will be checked by FBSW for auditing and verification purposes. It is vital that the LWAC is accurate, and that all the case information is provided on the front of the claim form.
Please see below for further information.
To have property returned, contact will need to be made with the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the case. The OIC will request the property from storage and arrangements can be made for you to attend a local Police Station where the property can be collected.
The OPCC’s / Bedfordshire Victim Care Services (BVCS) pledge of how we intend to support the implementation of this right
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioners Victim Care Service, BVCS, is here to provide victims of a crime within Bedfordshire practical and emotional support. Signpost are able to advise and support Witnesses through claiming expenses should the need arise. Signpost cannot make arrangement for property to be released however.
Ongoing projects or work relating to the Victims’ Code being undertaken by the OPCC or collaboratively with criminal justice partners
As part of the Victims’ Needs Analysis recently carried out by the OPCC, 28 recommendations were made with a view to improving the victims’ journey. They relate to further work on cultural reviews and data analysis, process changes, training and awareness programmes, victim support and the approach taken to commissioned services across partnerships and new processes required. Some of the recommendations are relatable to the rights within the Victims’ Code and they will be detailed in these press releases each week.
There are no recommendations relatable to right 10.
Getting support after being affected by crime
If you would like to discuss how you could receive support with coping and recovering from the impact of crime, BVCS can help you. BVCS is free, confidential, available to everyone and is a way for you to find the help that meets your specific needs.
Contact: Bedfordshire Victim Care Services
Freephone: 0800 0282 887
(calls are free from landlines and mobiles)
https://www.bedfordshirevcs.com/ (self-referral form found in the contact page)
Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Closed bank holidays. Out of hours you can leave a voicemail and we will call back.