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VICTIMS & WITNESSES

06 November 2017

Being a victim of a crime and witnessing a crime can be very traumatic. This can cause harm to your mental health, this can happen instantly or develop over time. Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. 

If you report a crime you will be asked questions to find out how you have been affected by the crime. You may be asked about your personal circumstances to help identify if there is any additional support that you might need and to understand how you'd prefer to be contacted thereafter.

You will usually receive either a letter with information about the support available to you as a victim of crime, or a telephone call from a skilled victim and witness care coordinator.  They will work with you to assess your needs and create a personalised plan to help you cope and recover from the effects of crime. They will also ensure you receive your entitlements under the Victim’s Code of Practice, acting as your single point of contact, should you need them.

This support is also available to victims who do not wish to report a crime. If you have been a victim of a crime but don't want to report it, you can still speak with a member of the Victims and Witness’ Support coordinators. You can also go online to your local authority and they will have a victim and witness information and support area for you.

Everyone copes with the after-effects of crime differently and can vary from person to person depending on their personality, the support of friends and family and their personal circumstances. All reactions to crimes are completely normal and you should not be embarrassed.

Anyone can become a victim of crime. A victim is defined as “a person who has been harmed (physically, financially or emotionally), injured or killed as a result of a crime, accident or other event or action”. The definition of a victim can also include;

  • Families or friends of a person who has died as a result of criminal conduct
  • Families or friends of victims in fatal road collisions
  • Nominated representatives of a business that has been the subject of a criminal activity.

If you have seen or been a victim of a crime, you will be called a witness. As a witness, you play a vital role in helping solve crimes and deliver justice. The criminal justice system cannot work without witnesses and are the most important part in bringing offenders to justice. Witnesses can be:

  • Victims of crime
  • Someone who saw a crime or incident
  • Someone who knows something about a crime or incident
  • Someone with specialist knowledge
  • Someone who knows someone involved in a case, known as a character witness.

There are lots of support services out here for you; the different support services will be able to offer advice and support to help you manage your mental health challenges, we listed a few below:

The Cambridgeshire Constabulary - Provides a Hub of support and advice for victims and witnesses to help them get through the after-effects of crimes.

Victim Support (VS) - Give you the support you need to move forward. Our services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened. Choose from a number of ways to contact us.

GOV Website - Get free help and advice if you’ve been a victim of crime.

You & Co - You & Co is Victim Support’s youth programme that helps young people cope with the impact and effects of crime. You do not have to report the crime to the police to get support from us.

Crime Stoppers UK - an independent charity helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. We have an anonymous 24/7 phone number, 0800 555 111, that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send us information anonymously via our Giving Information Form. You don't have to give your name or any of your personal details. We do not trace calls or track IP addresses.

SAMM - SAMM is a national UK Charity (No 1000598) supporting families bereaved by Murder and Manslaughter. We also provide advice and training to many agencies on issues relevant to the traumatically bereaved.

Karma Nirvana - is an award-winning British human rights charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. Honour crimes are not determined by age, faith, gender or sexuality, we support and work with all victims.

SARI Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) is a service user/community-oriented agency that provides support and advice to victims of hate, and promotes equality and good relations between people with protected characteristics as defined by law. Most SARI staff have some direct experience of dealing with hate motivated behaviour and all staff have a clear understanding of and commitment to the objectives of SARI.

Stone Wall - We're here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone. We believe we're stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain - in some of our greatest institutions - so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.

FASO - FASO is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting anyone affected by false allegations of abuse. False allegations affect people in all walks of life, in personal or professional contexts, and often without any warning or forewarning.  FASO is here to support you.

Murdered Abroad - A support group for families, partners and friends of the victims of murder and manslaughter abroad.

True Vision - True Vision is here to give you information about hate crime or incidents and how to report it. On this website, you can find out what hate crimes or hate incidents are, find out about the ways you can report them, report using the online form and find information about people that can help and support you if you have been a victim.

Equality Human Rights - We are an independent statutory body with the responsibility to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote the human rights of everyone in Britain. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation – these are known as protected characteristics.

Hundred Families - Offer accurate information and practical advice for families bereaved by people with mental health problems along with evidence based resources for mental health professionals and others interested in serious violence by the mentally ill.

Support Line - SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse.

Suzy Lamplugh - Our mission is to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support. We help and support people to stay safe from violence and aggression through the provision of free safety tips, managing the National Stalking Helpline and delivering community projects.

Action Fraud - Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime.

British Transport Police - We police Britain’s railways, providing a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers across the country. This website provides advice, information and support to anyone who has been affected by a crime whilst on British Transport.

For more services here to help with your mental health challenges, check out our Who Else Can Help Me? Page!