Supporting victims is really important to us at Bedfordshire Police and there are a number of support services in place.
Victim engagement officers (VEOs) are now carrying out domestic abuse surveys for the force to make sure we are supporting victims as well as we can.
Speak to the officer in charge of your case if you would like to speak to one of our specially trained VEOs.
Victims of burglary and vehicle crime are also invited to take part in a separate survey to give us their feedback. Any victim of burglary or vehicle crime should receive a text and an email asking them to answer eight questions in relation to how satisfied they are with the service and care they have received.
You have the right to information you understand in a language you speak.
Have your crime recorded
You have the right to have details of your incident recorded by the police as soon as possible. You have the right to support when you are providing your account to the police.
Be provided information
You have the right to receive written confirmation when reporting a crime and to be told where to find information on the criminal justice process and how to obtain support available to you.
Be referred to services that support victims
You have the right to be offered support when your crime is reported which will include an assessment of your needs. If eligible, you have the right to be offered a referral to specialist support services and to be told about additional support available at court.
Be provided updates on the investigation and prosecution
You have the right to be given updates on your case and be told when important decisions are made. You also have the right to ask for decisions to be reviewed by the relevant service provider at certain stages of the justice process.
Make a Victim Personal Statement
You have the right to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) and to be provided with information about it. A VPS is an opportunity to tell the court how the crime has affected you and is considered when sentencing the offender.
You have the right where eligible, to be informed about how to claim compensation for any loss, damage or injury caused as a result of a crime.
Be informed of the trial, trial process and your role as a witness
You have the right if your case goes to court to be told the time, date and location of any hearing and the outcome of those hearings promptly. You have the right if you are required to give evidence to be offered appropriate help before the trial and where possible meet the prosecutor before giving evidence.
Be told the outcome of your case and any appeals
You have the right to be told the outcome of your case and, if the offender is convicted, to have the sentence explained. If the offender appeals against their conviction or sentence, you have the right to be told about the appeal and its outcome.
You have the right to claim certain expenses if you are required to attend court and give evidence. If any of your property was taken as evidence, you have the right for it to be returned to you as soon as possible.
Be provided information following a conviction
You have the right, where eligible to be automatically referred to the Victim Contact Scheme, which will provide you with information about the offender and their progress in prison, and if/when they are eligible for parole or release. You also have the right to make a new Victim Personal Statement, in which you can say how the crime continues to affect you.
Make a complaint
You have the right to make a complaint to the relevant service provider if you believe that you have not received your rights. If you remain unhappy, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Bedfordshire Victim Care Services offers free and confidential support to anyone affected by crime, whether it has been reported to the police or not. This includes victims themselves, bereaved relatives, and parents or guardians of victims under 18.
If you have reported your crime to the police, you will be asked if you would like victim support and if so, you will be contacted by a member of the team who will talk to you about what’s happened and how it’s impacted you. They will assess your needs and provide practical and emotional support, signposting or referring you to other agencies who can provide more specialist support if needed.
You can access this support without reporting the crime to the police, by calling the Victim Care Services team directly on 0800 0282 887 (Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, and Saturday between 9am and 5pm), by emailing [email protected] or by completing the self-referral form found within the ‘Contact us’ section of the Bedfordshire Victim Care Services website.