Crime and victims
Victim support and advice
The Home Office believes that even one victim of crime is one too many. We're working hard to get prevent crime, and we're reforming the criminal justice system to put the needs of victims first.
Being a victim is a profound emotional and psychological event – it can lead to debilitating personal insecurity, confusion and uncertainty. Support and advice is critical during this difficult period and there is help out there – even more than you might think.
Help for victims
When you report a crime to the police they must treat you with consideration and they should ask if you’d like to be referred to organisations, such as Victim Support, that can help you.
Victim Support (new window) is an independent national charity where the staff and volunteers are trained to provide emotional support and practical assistance, including:
- providing someone you can talk to in complete confidence
- real advice on victims' rights
- useful information on police and court procedures
- down to earth advice about compensation and insurance
- information about other sources of help like counselling
Anyone affected by crime can contact Victim Support for help, regardless of whether they’ve reported the crime to the police or how long ago the crime took place.
Victim Support line: 0845 30 30 900
number for those with hearing difficulties: 18001 0845 30 30 90
minicom (or text telephone): 020 7896 3776.
Support for victims in the justice system
The Victims’ Virtual Walkthrough (new window) on the Criminal Justice System website, realistically guides victims through the processes they’ll encounter from the time a crime is reported, through the police investigation, court processes and sentencing.
It also provides information on the support available to anyone coming into contact with the criminal justice system.
This support includes:
- Victim Support (new window) – this charity provides support and advice to anyone who has been a victim of crime
- The Witness Service (new window) – to support you during a court case
- Community Legal Service (new window) – to help you deal with your legal problems
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau (new window) – to advise you about suing the offender for damages
What we’re doing to improve services for victims
We're making changes that will put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.
This means all victims will be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve, and more offenders will be prosecuted and sentenced appropriately.
Some of the improvements we’re making to the way we support victims include:
- introducing a code of practice for victims that sets out the minimum standards of service that a victim can expect from the criminal justice system
- developing national standards to meet the needs of specific groups of victims, for example, victims of road traffic incidents or human trafficking
- allocating more funding for community-based services for sexual crime victims
- introducing measures to prevent repeat victimisation at the hands of domestic violence offenders
- setting up the victims' advisory panel to give victims of crime a say on how victims are treated in the justice system.