Information for victims of crime
Thank-you for reporting to Dorset Police. We want you to feel reassured that there are teams committed to providing the best possible service to victims and witnesses of crime.
This page explains what happens next if you have been a victim of crime, the investigation process and gives information about organisations which you can go to for support and advice.
Now that you have reported a crime a police officer will carry out an initial investigation.
You will be advised whether or not the crime is being investigated further and kept informed of what is happening.
You will also be advised if the investigation is closed and the reasons why.
You may be asked to make a witness statement which will include information such as when the crime took place, where it occurred and what you saw.
You may be called to give evidence and we will ensure that you know what to expect in court and you will receive the support and advice you need.
If you agree by providing verbal or written consent, Dorset Police would like to share your details with Victim Support. They provide services to victims of crime and can help you access support in a way that best meets your needs.
If you agree you also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time by contacting and advising the Victims’ Bureau.
Victims of crime are entitled to support from the criminal justice agencies under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. The Victims’ Code sets out the services you can expect.
As a victim of crime you can expect:
- A written acknowledgement that you have reported a crime
- Information about the criminal justice process
- An assessment to see if you need support and, with your consent, be referred to Victim Support
- An enhanced service for children, victims of serious crimes, persistently targeted victims or a vulnerable intimidated victim
- To be kept informed about the police investigation, if a suspect is to be prosecuted or not, and notified of the date of court hearings and if you need to give evidence.
You will also be asked if you would like to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) which gives you a voice in the criminal justice process. In your VPS you can tell the court how the offence has affected you and you can choose to read your statement aloud in court or have it read out on your behalf if the defendant is found guilty.
To find out more click here.
For those victims of serious crimes, domestic abuse, sexual offences, child abuse and wounding, it may be more appropriate for the investigating officer to keep you updated, rather than the Victims’ Bureau.
Victim Support are a national charity who offer free and confidential emotional support and advice to victims of crime, you can contact them on 0300 3030 163.
Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 6.30pm. If you need support outside of their opening hours, call the support line for free on 0808 1689 111 or request support via their website here.
Your case will go to court if someone is arrested and charged by the police. You will also be assigned to the Witness Care Unit who will take care of you through to the end of the case.
- You will be kept up to date with the progress of your case and dates and locations of court hearings
- You will be contacted if you are needed to give evidence in court
- You will be offered a court familiarisation visit with the Witness Service who can talk to you about what to expect before going to court
- You will be offered special measures if you are a vulnerable or intimidated victim to help you give your best evidence
- You will be offered interpreters, transport and childcare if necessary
- You will be notified of the result of the court case.
Restorative justice offers you an opportunity to be heard and sometimes to have a say in the resolution of offences. It can provide a means of closure and enable to you to move on while providing an opportunity for offenders to take responsibility for their actions and to understand the impact on others.
It can take place after criminal proceedings or it can be used alongside an out of court disposal. Possible out of court disposals include:
- Community resolution
- Cautions, either simple or with conditions
- Penalty notices for disorder and crime.
Restorative Dorset aims to offer anyone who comes into contact with the criminal justice system an opportunity to participate in restorative justice or restorative mediation.
This is by bringing those harmed by crime and those responsible for the harm, into an agreed form of communication in a positive way, to help victims and offenders find closure and move forward with their lives.
If you wish to speak to someone about restorative justice contact 01202 223106 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criminal Injury Claims
If you are an innocent victim of a violent crime, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries
Compensation Authority (CICA), but you must apply within two years of when the attack took place.
You can call freephone on 0808 2714 296 or complete the contact form at cica-criminal-injuries.co.uk
Victims Right to Review
The Victims’ Right to Review scheme gives victims the right to request a review of a police decision not to prosecute a suspect. The right of a victim to request a review arises where the police make a decision not to charge, or make a decision that the case does not meet the test for referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a charging decision.
Improving our service
In Dorset we want to do our best for you and it is essential that you have confidence in the police and are satisfied with the service we give you. With that in mind we would welcome your feedback by filling in the feedback/complaint form available here.
Alternatively you can phone 101 and speak to a call handler who will record your complaint / praise and forward it to the relevant person / department.
If you remember anything about your crime/incident that you wish to bring to our attention, or if anyone has given you information about your crime/incident, or you simply have a question, please use one of the contact methods available below.
If you need to contact the officer in charge of your case (OIC) you can pass on a message to on officer or request a call back online here. Alternatively you can call 101.
If you are in immediate danger always call 999.
To report a crime or incident please report it online here or call the non-emergency number 101.
- 0300 123 2040
The Shores - Dorset SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)
Supports victims of rape or sexual assault.
- 01202 552056
Dorset Rape Crisis
Supports anyone who has been raped or sexually abused.
- 01202 547445
Provides information and advice on all issues relating to independent living.
- 01202 771336
Prejudice Free Dorset
Promotes inclusive communities by supporting victims of hate crime.
Provides help against homophobic and transphobic prejudice, crime and discrimination.
- 01392 201015