Our commitment to you
Gloucestershire Constabulary and our criminal justice partners are committed to providing victims and witnesses of crime with the best possible service at all times.
These pages will outline how we will treat you as a victim of crime and the level of service you will receive, including our commitments under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (v15).
We have also provided pages which give you information about what to expect if you are a witness, including our commitments under the Witness Charter (v13), and links to useful advice and other organisations that can.
The following sets out what you can expect from the Criminal Justice System as a victim of crime; Information for Victims of Crime (v14). It contains information about other service providers as well as the police and also organisations you can contact for free advice, practical information and support.
After reporting your crime the police will contact you to let you know what will happen next. If further investigation is required you will generally be asked to provide information of what has happened. This will be recorded as a Statement of Evidence and will involve you supporting a police prosecution and potentially attending court.
The aim of the Criminal Justice System is to bring offenders to justice. There are many ways to do this.
Being a victim or witness of crime can be a very distressing experience, and the criminal justice system can seem daunting and complicated. However, there are plenty of people to offer you support throughout. Below is advice that offers support and guidance through the varying stages of the criminal justice process.
Victim or witness of any crime
If you have been a victim of a crime or you have been affected by a crime then the charity Victim Support are on hand to help you through the difficulties that you may be facing. You can contact Victim Support at any time even if the crime is not going through criminal proceedings.
They offer tailored support for both victims and witnesses for more information please visit: Victims Support
Before going to court to give evidence
If you are a victim or a witness and the accused has pleaded not guilty then you may be called to court to give evidence. Many will find this experience very daunting and unfamiliar to some. Gloucestershire Constabulary's Witness Care Unit are on hand to support and guide you through the process before you go to court, during, and also keep you updated should there be further court hearings, including notifying you of the result.
The expert Witness Care Officers can help you with a variety of issues to help ensure that your experience is as seamless as possible. This may include assistance with any of the following:
- Special measures
- Claiming expenses and loss of earnings occurred by court attendance
- Arrange an interpreter if necessary to give best evidence
- Managing expectations and explaining the Criminal Justice Process
- Referral to support agencies
- Assistance with travel, accommodation and Childcare
For more details please contact the Witness Care team on 01452 754 517 or alternatively email them: firstname.lastname@example.org
Victim or witness attending court to give evidence
If you have been called to court to provide evidence in a case then Citizens Advice have a support mechanism to help you through the time that you are at court. Citizens Advice witness service could help with the following:
- Greeting witnesses on the day and accompanying you into the court if you wish
- Explanation of court procedures
- Providing a court room tour prior to the hearing so victims and witnesses can be familiar with what will happen on the day
- Providing emotional and practical support linked to giving evidence
For more information please visit: Citizens Advice witness service
Restorative Justice is a process where all the people involved in a specific incident come together to jointly decide how to deal with what happened. It can be used to deal with various incidents ranging from neighbour disputes to grave and serious crime.
For more information please visit: Restorative Gloucestershire's website here you will find:
- The Restorative Process
- Case Studies
Out of Court Disposals:
Out of court disposals is where the police can deal with less serious crimes, often first time offending, responsively without a need to prosecute at court.
For more information please visit: Gov.uk - penalty notices for disorder here you will find explanations for:
- Out of Court Disposals
- Conditional Cautions
Other service providers will be involved at various stages of the process:
The Witness Charter
The Witness Charter has been developed to tell you how, as a witness, you can expect to be treated by the police if you are a witness to a crime or incident.
It also covers subsequent standards of care for other criminal justice agencies and lawyers if you are asked to give evidence for the prosecution, or defence, in a criminal court.
The charter sets out what help and support you can expect to receive at every stage of the process from all the agencies and lawyers involved, although it does not cover the work of judges and magistrates.