On 1 April 2015, Gloucestershire Constabulary, in common with other police forces in the country, introduced a Victims’ Right to Review scheme.
This scheme gives victims of crime the right to ask for a review of any decision made by the police not to prosecute a suspect.
The scheme only applies to cases on or after 1 April 2015.
The right to ask for a review of a decision not to prosecute a suspect can be
when a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution, either after they have been arrested or when they have volunteered to be interviewed.
Any victim in a qualifying case where a decision has been made not to prosecute a suspect is entitled to ask for a review of that decision.
The definition of a victim is taken from the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2013 and is defined as “aperson that has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct.”
- Close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct
- Parents or guardians where the main victim is a child or youth under 18
- Police officers who are victims of crime
- Family spokespersons of victims with a disability or who are so badly injured that they cannot communicate
- A business (providing they give a named point of contact)
- Victims wishing to request a review will need to do so in writing by emailing Gloucestershire Constabulary at the following email address: VictimRightToReview@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk
- The review will be undertaken by an officer, at least one rank higher than the decision maker, who has not had any involvement in the investigation.
- The reviewing officer will notify the victim of the outcome in writing unless it is inappropriate or the victim has stated this is not their preferred method of contact.
- Learning points from outcomes will be shared appropriately.
- If a review reveals issues of misconduct or under-performance these will be dealt with in the normal manner.
- Name of the person submitting the request – including their address and contact details
- Details of the victim – including the victim’s address and contact details
- Crime report reference number or police incident number and date
- Date and type of offence
- Brief outline of the reasons why a review is being requested
- Victims can request a review within three months of being notified of the case being filed
- Requests from victims should be acknowledged by Gloucestershire Constabulary within 10 working days.
- Where possible, the review should be completed and the decision communicated to the victim within 30 working days by Gloucestershire Constabulary. When this is not possible, the victim should be notified and updated regularly on the progress of the review
- The original decision to take no further action is upheld
- The original decision is overturned and proceedings are commenced against the suspect. (i.e. they are charged or summonsed)
- The original decision is overturned and the suspect is dealt with by way of an out of court disposal
- The original decision is overturned and the case is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a charging decision
- It is decided that further enquiries need to be completed before the reviewing officer can make their decision
- The original decision is overturned as the case involved a minor offence which was over six months ago and therefore proceedings cannot be instigated
- A victim who is unhappy with the outcome of the review can appeal to Gloucestershire Constabulary. An officer of a higher rank than the reviewing officer will then consider the complaint.
- A victim who is unhappy with the outcome of the second review can pursue the matter further if they wish by applying to the High Court for a Judicial Review.