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The Code of Practice for Victims (Victims’ Code) Individual rights information

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The Code of Practice for Victims (Victims’ Code) Individual rights information

The OPCC has been releasing information relating to each of the 12 rights within the Victims’ Code. Each release will cover one or more of the rights.

 

Right 2: To have the details of the crime recorded without unjustified delay

Summary of right 2:

  • To have details of the crime recorded by the police without unjustified delay after the incident and when you report an incident, you will be asked to provide details about the crime
  • The police will explain if you make a witness statement, you may need to give evidence at court, if the case goes to trial.
  • The number of interviews you are asked to take part in should be kept to a minimum and take place without unjustified delay and where possible be conducted by the same person.
  • The police must take any steps necessary to ensure that you (and your family) do not have unnecessary contact with the suspect.
  • The Police must consider whether any additional support would help you, e.g. an interpreter and that the interview premises is designed and adapted for that purpose – if not they will tell you why.
  • To request to bring a person of your choice to the interview, if this is not possible the police will tell you why
  • The police or CPS must consider whether the quality of your evidence may be adversely affected by a vulnerability (e.g. age, learning disability) and whether you are eligible for support from a registered intermediary (an independent communication specialist)
  • Any medical examinations must be kept to a minimum and are subject to your consent
  • Victims of sexual violence, gender-based violence or domestic abuse, have the right to request that the police officer conducting the interview to be of a gender of your choice. If your choice would affect the fairness of the proceedings the Police must tell you why.
  • If you are considered vulnerable, e.g. under 18 years of age or intimidated (see Enhanced Rights on Page 10 of the Code), you will be given the opportunity to:
  • Have your police interview video recorded to make it easier to tell them what happened. The video interview could be presented in court or
  • Give a pre-recorded cross-examination video at a time earlier and separate to the trial.
  • Give evidence at the trial via a live-link video system away from the court

 

Full details of right 2 can be found on page 13 on the link for The Code of Practice for Victims

 

Local processes in Bedfordshire

We have asked Bedfordshire Police for details of local processes on the following points and will update our website once this is available.

  • Recording crime
  • Allocating OIC
  • Taking statement from victim
  • Assessing vulnerability of victim

 

The OPCC’s and Signpost’s pledge of how we intend to support the implementation of this right

In the first instance, we would expect Bedfordshire Police to ensure details of the crime are recorded without unjustified delay and to explain the entitlements within right 2 of the Victims’ Code.

 

Signpost is the OPCC’s independent victim support service and so cannot record details of a crime or carry out any of the processes on behalf of the police. However, if an individual is unable to get through to the Officer in the case, Signpost can assist by making efforts to connect the victim with the right individual or team within the police.

 

We recognise that everyone is different and so it’s not possible to put a timescale on how long it will take for a victim to recover from the impact of the crime. Signpost can assist with the journey of coping and recovering by providing a route to tailored emotional and practical support either by Signpost or referral to other specialist agencies. This can be at any stage throughout the police investigation, court processes or even if no crime was ever reported.

 

The OPCC are responsible for meeting the rights under the Victims Code

The OPCC are responsible for meeting the rights under the Victims Code and therefore monitor Bedfordshire police compliance with the Code. Some can be monitored via simple data recorded by the police and others need a more analytical review of cases. In relation to right 2 the OPCC can review the time taken by the police to record crime details and consider whether delays are justified.

 

The data received from Bedfordshire police’s online crime reporting tool can also be reviewed for timescales between victims making the report online and receiving contact by the police to make a statement or give further information.

 

There are important factors to consider around right 2 that don’t relate to delay.  It is vital that vulnerable victims are offered the additional support and alternative methods of providing information to the police and giving evidence in court trials. Whilst it might not be an ongoing compliance monitoring point, a review of the vulnerability test that the police carry out can help to identify any issues.  This ensures that the right individuals are being offered those additional options mentioned in the summary of right 2 above.

 

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 approach to commissioned services across partnerships new processes. 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 is one recommendation relatable to right 2 ‘To have the details of the crime recorded without unjustified delay’.

 

  Recommendation Reasons Benefits
1 An online feedback platform such as the ‘Echo’ platform should be made available to victim and witness to give their views on police processes and key elements of the Victims’ Code Right number 2 is mainly about timeliness of crime details being recorded. To monitor compliance would currently require a manual dip sample of cases. ‘Echo’ can be tailored to ask victims specific questions around the Victims Code. Compliance of the rights in the Victims’ Code could be monitored on an ongoing basis. Positive and negative feedback can be reviewed by the Police to raise awareness of key issues, manage expectations and make process improvements.

 

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, Signpost can help you. Signpost is free, confidential, available to everyone and is a way for you to find the help that meets your specific needs. Signpost offer support to victims at any stage throughout the criminal justice process and after a case has been to court.

 

Contact:
Freephone: 0800 0282 887
(calls are free from landlines and mobiles)
Email: info@signpostforbedfordshire.com

https://www.signpostforbedfordshire.com (self-referral form found in the contact page)

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday:  8am  –  8pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Closed bank holidays. Out of hours you can leave a voicemail and we will call back.

 

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Bedfordshire PCC

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Bridgebury House
Woburn Road
Kempston
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MK43 9AX

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