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What works for victims

'No Witness, No Justice'

'No Witness, No Justice' aims to improve the experiences of prosecution victims and witnesses and ensure they are better informed, better prepared and better supported when attending court. Being a victim is very important, without the support of the victim in the prosecution, there is often no justice.

Since April 2003, all the criminal justice agencies and partnering organisations have been involved in the 'No Witness, No Justice' programme aimed at making the victim and witness experience as efficient and appreciative of individual needs as possible.

'No Witness, No Justice' puts victims and witnesses at the heart of the Criminal Justice System, providing the assistance and care where it is needed most.

The key element of implementing 'No Witness, No Justice' were the creation of Witness Care Units throughout the country. This dedicated unit provides a direct point of contact for victims and witnesses to gain information and support from the point of charge through to case completion (referred to as The Victim and Witness Service Centre in Warwickshire and West Mercia).

Currently in Warwickshire and West Mercia, more than 85% of victims and witnesses attend court to support prosecutions.  Throughout the criminal justice process they are fully supported.

The governments Code of Practice for Victims of Crime

A new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime came into force on the 10th December 2013.  The Code of Practice aims to improve victims' contact with all criminal justice agencies, including the Police by providing you with the support and information you need from the moment the crime is reported to the end of the trial.

Reporting a crime typically marks the start of a victim's contact with the criminal justice system. From this point onwards, victims will often come into contact with a range of criminal justice agencies such as the police, courts and probation services.

The new code states that extra support should be given to those victims who need us, such as victims of the most serious crime, those who are persistently targeted and those who are vulnerable and/or intimidated. It also includes new sections aimed at businesses and young victims of crime.

For the first time, victims are now entitled to choose to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) and to read it out in court if the offender is found guilty. The VPS lets victims explain how the crime has affected them physically, emotionally or in any other way. The judge can then take this in to account when deciding on the sentence.

Find out much more about the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime here.