Proposals for revising the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime

Closed 11 Sep 2019

Opened 17 Jul 2019


Becoming a victim of crime is often a traumatic experience, which can have a profound and deeply personal impact on the victim. How people are treated immediately after a crime, and subsequently within the justice system, can make an important difference, not just in helping them play their part in seeing justice delivered, but in helping them to move on from what has happened.

Our justice system is highly respected around the world. We want to continue to build on this to ensure it encourages more victims to speak up in the certainty they will be understood, protected, and supported. This should be happening whether or not they report a crime, and regardless of their circumstances or background. That is why in September last year, we published the first ever cross-government Victims Strategy.

We have already delivered a significant number of the commitments in the strategy and we are on track to deliver the rest. This consultation is the first stage in delivering our commitment to consult on a strengthened Victims’ Code (the Code), that will be both clearer, and more responsive to the changing nature of crime and victims’ needs.

To help build confidence and trust, we want the structure of the Code to change from a series of entitlements to a ‘living’ statement of rights. This will pave the way for the forthcoming consultation on a Victims’ Law to consider which key aspects of the revised Code are enshrined in law, as well as help to ensure that victims receive the right support at the right time.

Listening to victims, we know that many people are still not aware of the Code, and those who are, find it difficult to understand what it means for them. It is also clear that many victims do not always receive entitlements from the criminal justice system when they need them. That is why, in addition to creating a short, user-friendly overview of the Code to summarise the key points that all victims need to know, we are proposing to go further than our commitment in the strategy and provide a similar guide for those working in the criminal justice sector. This will ensure that victims have confidence that they will be offered the services and support they need.

To do that, the voice of the victim and the voice of the public is vital. We now want to hear what you have to say about our initial proposals for change, and the issues you think we should focus on. This consultation is the next step in ensuring the experience of victims within the justice system – whatever their particular path and eventual outcome – does not result in them becoming a victim of the process, as well as the crime.


  • Judiciary
  • Victims
  • Citizens
  • Judiciary


  • Criminal justice