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In this section:
|1. What to expect as a victim or witness of a crime|
|2. What happens after you report a crime?|
|3. Victims' Right to Review scheme|
|4. Giving a witness or victim statement|
|5. Going to court|
|6. What happens after the trial?|
|7. Victim and witness support organisations|
The Victims' Right to Review (VRR) Scheme gives victims the right to ask for a review of a police decision not to charge a suspect.
VRR applies to cases where a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution. This happens either after they’ve been arrested or because they’ve volunteered to be interviewed.
You have the right to request a review if the police decide:
not to charge someone
where the police decide that the case doesn’t meet the test for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide to charge someone
VRR only applies where the decision is made not to charge or not to pass the case to the CPS to make a decision to charge someone.
It doesn’t cover decisions on whether a crime is recorded or whether an investigation into a crime can continue. If the CPS decides not to charge someone, their website explains what you can do.
VRR doesn’t apply to cases where:
Sometimes an investigation into an offence is ongoing, so even though police have made a decision on whether to charge someone, a VRR consideration may be postponed until the investigation is complete.
The scheme applies to any decision made on or after 1 April 2015.
If your request to review relates to the CPS VRR scheme, you can request a review on a decision made on or after 5 June 2013. As this is a CPS scheme, the right to review lies with them. Visit the CPS website for more information.
You must request a review within three months of the decision not to charge.
If the case qualifies under the scheme, any victim of a crime can request a review of the case.
Other people can apply on behalf of a victim. These include:
You can ask someone to act on your behalf, such as a solicitor or Member of Parliament (MP). If you do, we will need written confirmation that they have permission to act on your behalf.
The officer who tells you about the decision not to prosecute will give you contact details of where to appeal.
We aim to contact people within 10 working days to let them know we have received their request.
An officer, who wasn’t involved in the case, will be assigned to review the case. The officer’s role is not to review the previous decision, but to take a fresh look at the evidence and to make their own decision.
A review is usually completed within 30 working days. In complex or sensitive cases, it may take longer. You will be given regular updates.
There are six potential outcomes of a review:
We will contact you to let you know the outcome.
If you’re not happy with the decision, you can apply to the High Court for a judicial review.