Advice and Support for Victims and Witnesses
Reporting a crime
In an emergency, please call 999.
What to Expect
Being a victim of a crime can be a distressing experience; the information in this section and the following links are available to help and guide you through the Criminal Justice process.
For more details about what you can expect from us and our partner criminal justice agencies, please have a read through the Information for Victims of Crime leaflet.
See also the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales (November 2020) which came into effect on 1st April 2021.
Our Commitment to You
We are committed to supporting victims and witnesses of crime and providing the best possible service at all times.
Support for victims and witnesses
The Witness Care Units (WCU) ensure that witnesses are better informed, better prepared and better supported throughout any court proceedings.
Lancashire has one WCU based at Chorley Police Station. This Unit deals with all Lancashire Cases.
The WCU provides the following services to victims and witnesses from first court hearing date right through to the conclusion of the case: It:
- Provides a single point of contact for victims and witnesses.
- Conducts a needs assessments on all victims & witnesses who are required to give evidence at Court, offering them services such as pre-court familiarisation visits.
- Informs victims and witnesses of Court hearing dates and results at key stages of the Court process.
- Refers victims and witnesses to relevant agencies if they require further support.
- Supports and encourages victims and witnesses to give evidence at Court.
- Will explain the Appeals process to victims and witnesses - liaising with the Officer in charge of the case where necessary.
Every case is allocated to a specified Witness Care Officer (WCO) after the First Hearing . This WCO then acts as the point of contact for witness/victim and will monitor the case throughout the court process until a final outcome is reached.
If a case gets listed for trial the Witness Care Officer will be informed which witnesses are required to attend court by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The WCU is not involved in the process of deciding which witnesses need to attend or not. The WCOs are therefore unable to discuss any evidential issues or answer questions as to why any witness is required for court.
Contact details are as follows:
Lancashire Victim Services
Lancashire Victim Services (LVS) has been established by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide support to victims and witnesses of crime across the county. If you have been a victim or have witnessed a crime, even if you haven’t reported it, the service is here to support you. LVS provide emotional support, information and practical help to anyone who needs it. Visit lancashirevictimservices.org to find out more.
If you have been a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour you could ask to take part in Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice seeks to bring all parties involved in an incident together to play a part in repairing the harm caused and find a positive way forward. It can be used in a wide range of cases from low level offending to grave and serious crimes.
Victim’s Right to Review
The Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) allows victims of crime to request a review of a police or a CPS decision not to prosecute a suspect. It applies to charging decisions made on or after 1 April 2015, for cases where a suspect has been interviewed under caution.
The request for a review must be made within 3 months of the victim being informed of the decision not to prosecute.
If your case is one that the police could charge but decided not to, or where the police decided not to refer a case to CPS for a charging decision, please write to The Head of Criminal Justice, PO Box 77, Preston, Lancashire PR4 5SB or secure email box: [email protected] to request a review. Please include your name, the suspects name(s) and the case reference number or investigation reference in your correspondence.
If your case was referred to the CPS for a charging decision and the CPS decided not to proceed with the prosecution, please request a review from CPS by clicking on the below link and select “I want to request a Victims right to Review”.
Alternatively you can email CPS using the following mailbox: [email protected].
Please include your name, the suspects name(s) and the case reference number or investigation reference when requesting the review.
Some of our PDF and Word documents are essential to sharing information. Over the coming months, we are reviewing all our web pages and making the necessary changes to ensure that they are accessible for all.
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to the organisation.
However, we recognise that there are several PDF and Word documents that are essential to our organisation and that we have a duty to publish these in a format accessible to all. Alterative formats of all documents on our website are available upon request. You can make a request by emailing our Media and Engagement Department:
Please make sure you include in your message the following:
- The name of the document you require in an alternative format
- The format you require the document in
- Your name