Leaflets and Downloads for Victims & Witnesses

The CPS main website has resources for Victims and Witnesses including information about:

  • reporting a crime and giving a statement,
  • downloadable leaflets, /li>
  • The Victims Code,
  • special help for vulnerable witnesses,
  •  young witnesses,
  • what to expect as a witness going to court,
  • the Victim Focus Scheme for bereaved families,
  • how we keep you updated with the case.

Find out more about resources for Victims and Witnesses  

CPS Domestic Violence Policy Publications

Find out more about the CPS stalking and harassment policy.

This contains information about breaching restraining orders.

Links

Victim Support is the national charity for victims of crime

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority 

The Sentencing Council website explains the different sentences the courts can impose on a defendant when found guilty.

Reporting Centres

Some crimes are regarded as being motivated by hate or prejudice such as domestic abuse and racist incidents and people can sometimes find it difficult to talk about what has happened. They may not want to contact the police. In some areas, your Local Authority has made it easier for people who experience these types of crime by setting up independent reporting centres.

Vulnerable or intimidated witnesses

A vulnerable witness is:

  • Anyone under 17, or
  • A victim of a sexual offence, or
  • A person whose evidence or ability to give evidence is likely to be diminished by reason of mental disorder, significant impairment of intelligence or social functioning or physical disability or disorder.

An intimidated witness is:

  • A victim of a sexual offence, or
  • An elderly or frail victim,
  • A repeat victim, or
  • A victim of a racially-motivated crime, or
  • A person whose quality of evidence is diminished by reasons of fear of distress in connection with testifying in the proceedings.

A victim's vulnerability may change during the course of an investigation due to health, intimidation or other reasons.

Special Measures

Video interview at courtVulnerable or intimidated witnesses can be assisted by 'Special Measures' to help them to give their evidence in the best way possible.

The prosecution can make an application to the Court for Special Measures to be granted.

The court will consider the request and decide whether of not the grant the application.

Special Measures can include one or more of the following:

  • Giving evidence by video link from a separate room in the court building,
  • Making a video interview,
  • Screens in the courtroom so the witness can not see or be seen by the defendant,
  • Clearing the public gallery of people,
  • Removing of wigs and gowns by court personnel,
  • Assistance with communicating in court,
  • Applying for reporting restrictions on the media who might be covering the case.

Intermediaries

Intermediaries work with victims and witnesses who may experience communication difficulties if required to give evidence in court; for example people with autism, hearing impairments or learning difficulties.

Intermediaries are professionals from a range of backgrounds such as speech and language therapy, psychology and social work who can help witnesses give evidence in court.

They act as an independent go-between for the victims or witnesses; helping them understand the questions they are being asked and assisting them in communicating their responses.  The role of an intermediary is to facilitate communications without changing the substance of the evidence.

Intermediaries can work with victims and witnesses from the time they give their initial statement to the police through to giving their evidence in court.  They will assess the individual needs and abilities of the victim or witness and advise the criminal justice agencies on how to question them to get their best evidence.

Download the CPS policy Supporting victims and witnesses with mental health issues

Download the CPS policy Supporting victims and witnesses with a learning disability