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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Help and support for victims of crime

There are people and groups who can help if you have been the victim of a crime. They can help you when you report a crime, when you go to court and after a trial. Find out what they offer and how to get in touch with them.

Your rights as a victim of crime

You have the right to help from people who work in the criminal justice system if you have been the victim of a crime. This includes help from police officers, witness care officers, court staff and probation officers.

For example, you can expect:

  • regular updates (at least once a month) from the police about your case
  • to be told when the offender is arrested, charged, bailed and sentenced

Victim Support

Victim Support

Telephone: 0845 30 30 900

Victim Support offer free help and emotional support to victims of crime.

Victim Support provide:

  • emotional support - for example, coping with the after-effects of crime
  • practical help like getting locks changed or help filling in forms for insurance and compensation
  • advice on dealing with the police
  • help finding a counsellor

The police will often put you in touch with Victim Support after you report a crime.

You can contact Victim Support even if the crime happened a long time ago or you haven’t reported it to the police.

In England and Wales, you can phone Victim Support on 0845 30 30 900 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 9.00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm).

You can use the link below to find help your nearest Victim Support office in England and Wales.

Victim Support in Scotland and Northern Ireland

In Scotland, you can call Victim Support on 0845 603 9213 (Monday to Thursday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm, and 9.00 am to 4.00 pm on Friday).

In Northern Ireland, you can call Victim Support on 028 9024 4039.

Charities helping victims of crime

There are many other groups that can offer you help and support if you have been the victim of crime.

Follow the link below to find victims services in your area.

Support if a relative or friend has been killed

Victim Support can give you extra help from a specially trained volunteer if you have a relative or friend that has been killed.

A police officer will put you in touch with someone who will help you. You can ask the police if you don’t get offered the help right away.

The person helping you is called a case worker. They can help you with things like:

  • security
  • child care
  • arranging a funeral
  • claiming benefits
  • finding a counsellor
  • advice on the law
  • paying bills

They will help you while the police look into the case and if you have to go to any court hearings. They will help you until you decide you no longer need them.

There are other organisations that can give you help and support if you've been affected by murder or manslaughter.

If you're the victim of youth crime

If the crime was committed by someone under 17, you could be asked if you want to take part in ‘restorative justice’.

This can give you the chance to:

  • meet the offender to tell them how you have been affected by the crime
  • get an apology from the offender
  • be involved with how the offence is dealt with

A youth offending team (who work specifically with young offenders) will ask you if you want to be involved if it's appropriate.

Restorative justice can help you come to terms with what has happened, but you don't have to take part if you don't want to.

Help from police, probation, court and prison staff

You will be offered help as you need it at different times, depending on what happens with the case. You can find out more using the links below.

Additional links

Victims of crime - find help

If you're a victim of crime, you can now search for services in your area that can give you help and support

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