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Victims of crime

Rights of victims

You are a victim if you have suffered harm or economic loss because of the activities of an individual (or company) who we are investigating or prosecuting.

We are committed to treating victims fairly, with dignity and respect. We uphold the standards in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code) .

If you are a witness in our investigation, we will explain:

  • the investigation and prosecution process
  • how it may affect you
  • what you can expect from us as a witness in our investigation.

Reporting a criminal offence

We investigate certain types of gambling crime. The types of cases that we investigate depend on who the victims are and on what type of offending is alleged.

If you have been a victim of crime who has suffered economic loss due to gambling, then you can contact us. Alternatively, if we become aware of an allegation of a criminal offence we may contact you, as a victim, to find out if you can provide relevant information.

If you are contacted by one of our investigators (either by phone or in writing), they will ask you for some personal details. These details will be held securely, and in line with the General Data Protection Regulations.

Interviews

If you have made a complaint to us, we will speak to you as soon as possible. If, after speaking to you by telephone, we consider you have relevant information that may need to be presented to the court, we may wish to interview you at our offices or at your home.

We record all interviews, so that we have an accurate account of what has been said.

Giving a statement

We may ask you to make a witness statement. This will be taken by our investigator, who will ask you questions and put what you have said into a formal statement.

Our investigator will:

  • explain the purpose of the witness statement
  • explain the process of taking a witness statement
  • ensure that you read and understood your draft statement thoroughly to ensure it accurately reflects what you have said before you sign it
  • explain the implications of signing the witness statement.

When you sign a witness statement, you are confirming that you agree with the contents of the statement and that it is a true account of what you have to say about the events in question.  If later, you wish to add further information to the statement or clarify something within it, a further witness statement can be taken.

Interpretation and translation

If you need language assistance in interpreting or translating any documents during the interview or while we take a witness statement, then please inform our investigator, who can arrange for assistance.

Giving evidence

If the case is brought to court, you may be required to give evidence. We shall give you as much notice as reasonably possible, so that you may properly plan for your attendance, and so that it causes minimal disruption.

During the court case you will be assigned a witness liaison officer who will keep you informed about the progress of the case.

To help you prepare to give evidence in a trial we will:

  • explain the process of giving evidence, including the courtroom procedure and layout
  • seek to answer further queries that you may have.

When you are called to court to give evidence you will not be allowed into the courtroom to watch the trial until you have given your evidence. Once you have given your evidence you may be allowed to stay in court if the judge agrees.

Giving evidence at court can be stressful. If you are a young or vulnerable witness, we can take measures to help ensure that you give your best evidence. This may involve us applying to the court for ‘special measures’. This assistance is offered to those that are particularly vulnerable or intimidated when giving their evidence. For example, you may be entitled to provide your evidence from outside the courtroom via live video link, so that you do not need to see, or be seen, by the defendant. Alternatively, you may be provided with screens around the witness box, so that you are unable to see the defendant while you give evidence.

You can ask for special measures if you think it would assist in giving your evidence. The court ultimately decides whether these measures can be put in place.

Accessibility

Please let us know if you have:

  • a disability that may affect how we provide you with information or how you communicate with us
  • any requirements that may affect your ability to give evidence at court.

We can make reasonable adjustments when providing you with information or arranging access to our premises or the court.

Alternatively, you can consult the Court and Tribunals website [LINK?] to see the facilities available and contact details.

Helping you claim your expenses

If you need to attend court to give evidence, we will send you:

  • a witness expenses form setting out the rates for claiming expenses
  • the application form with detailed rules about claiming expenses.

 You can claim limited expenses for:

  • travel to and from court
  • accommodation (with our prior agreement)
  • food and non-alcoholic drink (unless the Witness Service or the court provides free refreshments).

You may sometimes be able to claim limited expenses for:

  • compensation for loss of earnings from attending court
  • related costs such as childcare.

Our officer will be happy to explain the procedure and help you fill out the form.

Victims’ right to review

Victims can seek a review of our decision not to bring charges or to terminate all proceedings.

This scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after 16 November 2015.  If you wish to seek a review of such a decision, then please contact us.