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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|
After the trial, the Witness Care Unit will tell you the outcome of your case. If the defendant is found:
Why a sentence is given will be explained to you. If the defendant appeals against their conviction or sentence, you'll be told about the appeal and its outcome.
If you think a sentence is too low, you can ask for it to be reviewed by the Attorney General’s Office. You need to request a review, in writing, within 28 days of the court's sentencing decision.
For more information on appeals visit the UK government's website or the CPS.
If the offender is sentenced to 12 months or more in prison (or kept in hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983) you’ll get a letter from the National Probation Service (NPS) asking if you want to join the Victim Contact Scheme.
If the offence was a violent or sexual crime (and the offender was sentenced to 12 months of more) you’ll be automatically referred.
If you join you'll be given a Victim Liaison Officer who’ll let you know about any changes in the offender’s sentence, for example if they’re moved to an open prison, or how and when they’ll be released.
If you have concerns about what might happen when someone is released from prison they can discuss protection options, including preventing the offender from contacting you or your family, restraining orders or conditions of their licence of release if they have remaining time on their sentence.
If you're receiving unwanted contact from an offender who is in prison, you can contact the Prison and Probation Service Victims Helpline on 0300 060 6699, email [email protected] or make a 'non-contact' request on the gov.uk website.
You won't be told where the offender is being held.
The Victim Contact Scheme can also speak for you at the offender’s Parole Board hearing. They can give your feedback on any ‘licence conditions’, the rules the offender must follow if and when they’re released on parole, for example not contacting you and your family.
If you decide not to join the VCS when you’re asked about it but later change your mind, or if you’ve not been asked but think you want to join, you can email the Victim Contact Scheme.
You can complain if you're not happy with a service or can't get a service you need. You can complain directly to the service (eg make a complaint to the police or the CPS).
If you're not happy with what they say, you can make a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
If you’re the victim of a crime that's left you injured, or with lost or damaged property, you can apply for compensation.
Next: Victim and witness support organisations