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Help for the Victims of Crime

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice took over the running of the court based Witness Service from Victim Support on 1 April 2015.

The Witness Service Improvement Programme (WSIP) has been set up to deliver a modern, consistent and resilient service that meets the needs of every witness in England and Wales.

Further information about Citizens Advice is available on the Citizens Advice Website.


The next stage is investigation, where the police gather evidence. The police may ask you to tour the area where the offence happened to help identify the offender. They may also ask you to look at photographs or attend an identity parade.

Police investigations can take a long time. It may be several months before you hear anything about the case.

Once the police have completed their investigation, the case is passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS then decide whether to charge the suspect.

The difference between the police and the CPS

  • The police:
    The police arrest and question, they gather evidence and take witness statements.
  • The CPS:
    The CPS is responsible for charging and prosecuting, they decide if the evidence is good enough to go to court.