Code of Practice for Victims of Crime

The new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, came into force on December 3 2013.

The Victims Code code forms a key part of the wider Government strategy to transform the criminal justice system by putting victims first, making the system more responsive and easier to navigate.

Tim Passmore said, “Victims should be central to all that we do and that is clear in my Police and Crime Plan.

“The way victims are treated is vital to building public trust and confidence. Victims should always be treated in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner without discrimination of any kind. They should receive appropriate support to help them, as far as possible, to cope and recover and be protected from re-victimisation. It is important that victims of crime know what information and support is available to them from reporting a crime onwards and who to request help from if they are not getting it.

“A considerable amount of work is being undertaken in Suffolk to help improve satisfaction levels of victims and I will continue to work with partners to enhance this work. The new code of practice will clearly direct this work.”

What the code does:

The code sets out the services to be provided to victims of criminal conduct by criminal justice organisations in England and Wales. The code sets out a minimum standard for these services. Criminal justice organisations can choose to offer additional services and victims can choose to receive services tailored to their individual needs that fall below the minimum standard.

For the purposes of this code: a “victim” is a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct; or a close relative of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct.

Following the recent Government consultation on “Revising the Victims’ Code”, the Ministry of Justice updated Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.  Three main changes have been introduced under the revised Code:

  • The definition of victim has been broadened, so that victims of all criminal offences are entitled to receive support and information under the Code. Previously it was limited to victims of crime recorded under the National Crime Recording Standard.
  • The Code has been extended to apply to agencies outside of the core criminal justice system, who provide services to victims of crime.
  • The revised Code includes an entitlement for victims who report a crime to receive a written acknowledgement, which states the basic elements of the crime.

The revised Code will come into force on 16 November 2015 and is available to read in full Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code) – 2015 (PDF, 756KB)