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Help for the Victims of Crime

Witness Care Units

Witness Care Units are the single point of contact for victims and witnesses, from charging a suspect with a crime to the end of the case. Your named witness care officer will be responsible for keeping you informed of the progress of the case, and supporting you.

Find out more about Witness Care Units

Victim Support

Victim Support volunteers are specially trained to help you and give you practical advice. The police are required to refer all cases of burglary, theft, criminal damage, arson, assault, and racial harassment to Victim Support. If you don't want this to happen, tell the police officer dealing with your case.

Phone the Victim Support line: 0845 30 30 900

Visit the Victim Support Website

National Victims' Association

National Victims' Association provides advocacy, counselling and support services to the families of homicide victims.

Phone the National Victims' Association: 0191 423 2210

Visit the National Victims' Association 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.