The police’s role involves: dealing with the report of the crime;
identifying vulnerable or intimidated victims; ensuring the victim has
access to information about local support services; gathering evidence;
and providing follow-up information to the victim about the progress of
CPS and Joint Witness Care Units
The police work with the Crown Prosecution Service in Joint Witness
Care Units. These units aim to provide the main point of contact for
victims and witnesses, from the point where a defendant is charged
through to the conclusion of a case.
The CPS also has additional responsibilities about informing victims if a
decision is made to drop or substantially alter charges.
The Court Service has a role in ensuring victims’ visits to court are as
straightforward and positive as possible. They must ensure that victims
are directed to a separate waiting area and seat in the courtroom away
from the defendant’s family and friends, and that special measures are in
place if requested.
The Probation Service has a duty to inform and consult victims of serious
sexual or violent offences where the offender is sentenced to 12 months
or more in custody, about the timescale for the offender’s release, and
the conditions of their release.
Third sector agencies
Third sector organisations provide a range of practical help and support
for victims throughout their journey through the criminal justice system.
These roles include: provision of refuge places, counselling, help with
benefits, and help in making homes safe. Some agencies provide
advocacy services to support victims on their journey through the
criminal justice system.