Victims and witnesses | Suffolk Constabulary

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Victims and witnesses

Being a victim or witness of crime can be a traumatic experience which impacts the individuals involved and the people close to them. Suffolk Police and its partner criminal justice agencies offer support to give victims and witnesses advice, guidance and reassurance.

If you become a victim or witness to a crime or anti-social behaviour incident and have to attend court, both the Suffolk Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service are committed to delivering an excellent service to you, using trained local staff that understand your needs.

Some of the services Victim and Witness Support provide include:

  • an update of your case as soon as a person has been charged 
  • an agreement with you regarding the level of support and information you need, including your preferred means of contact - the service is tailored to each individual 
  • a full explanation and guidance about each stage of the justice process 
  • arranging visits to the court room before a trial takes place 
  • a dedicated member of staff to provide guidance and support on domestic violence issues 
  • specialist attention for sensitive cases. 

If you are a victim or a witness in the Criminal Justice System we will:

  • make sure you have access to support available from both local and national sources about your own case 
  • provide you with practical and emotional help and refer you to the appropriate services 
  • offer a high quality of service from our staff 
  • listen to your views by taking a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) 
  • stop intimidation and meet the needs of vulnerable witnesses 
  • improve the experience of victims and witnesses going to court 
  • meet the needs of domestic violence victims and stop repeat victimisation. 

We need your opinion and feedback to improve the service we deliver to our victims and witnesses. Please tell us of your positive or negative experience in having been a victim or a witness attending court in the county on [email protected]

Whilst we will not reply to any submissions using this e-mail, we will review and act upon them internally to improve our service.

Norfolk And Suffolk Victim Care

Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, your PCC is a ‘service provider’, responsible for commissioning practical and emotional support services for victims of crime in Suffolk.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by crime, help is available from Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care -  a service commissioned by your PCC, and run by Victim Support, to provide free, confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime.

Whatever has happened to you, whatever you may have witnessed and whenever it took place, the Victim Care team is on hand to work with you and make sure you receive the help you need to cope and recover.

Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care can provide emotional support, giving you a safe place to confidentially talk through your thoughts and feelings and ask any questions you may have. The team also offers practical support, like help with filling in paperwork, fitting home security measures, getting medical treatment or repairing damage to property.

Whatever you need, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care is there for you.

Report a crime

If you would like information on reporting a crime, please visit the Suffolk Police.

You can get advice and support to report a crime from Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care too.

Contact Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care
Call 0300 303 3706 - Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.
(Out of hours support is available via Victim Support on 0808 1689 111)
Email [email protected]
Fill in the contact form on the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care website.

Looking for specialist support?
Your PCC and Victim Support work with a number of organisations across the county who provide specialist support to people affected by crime.

You can get more information on the support services available by getting in touch with Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care using the details above.

Specialist support services in Suffolk include, but are not limited to:

Leeway
A specialist domestic abuse charity supporting adults, children and young people across Norfolk and Suffolk. 

Sue Lambert Trust
Providing support for survivors of sexual abuse, including one-to-one counselling, practical support and a telephone helpline. 

The Ferns Centre
Suffolk's Sexual Assault Referral Centre for people who are the victims of rape or serious sexual assault. 

Equal Lives
Led by people who face disabling barriers, providing support and information to help empower them to live independent lives. 

Action Fraud
The UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. You should report to Action Fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime. 

More information for victims and witnesses

Victim Information Service
There is a national Victim Information Service website set up by the Ministry of Justice which provides information on local victim support services based on your postcode. 

Witness Support Service
Citizens Advice provide a free, confidential support service for witnesses in over 300 criminal courts across England and Wales.

Investigation Management Unit

If you have to report any of the following crimes, these will be dealt with by our Investigation Management Unit:

  • theft
  • criminal damage, except with intent to endanger life 
  • burglaries of buildings, but not of a dwelling
  • harassment (except involving an element of domestic violence)
  • making off without payment
  • fraud –including include internet scams or card cloning excluding unless serious or complicated
  • vehicle crime

All other crime reports will be dealt with by our Contact and Control Room.

The IMU is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, and aims to provide the highest standards of service.

Here are details of what happens once a crime report is received by the IMU:

1. Once a call or online crime report is received by the IMU, an event will be created and the victim will be passed a reference number.

2. If the offence has just happened or is occurring, police officers will be dispatched to attend.

3. If it is an incident that has previously occurred, the IMU will obtain further details from the victim and update them with a crime reference number, contact number and details for the police officer investigating the case.

4. The IMU will then advise the victim of the level of investigation being taken, what enquiries will be carried out, or whether there will be no further lines of enquiry.

5. The IMU will then form an agreement with the victim with regards to updating them on the progression of the case.

6. The victim will get updated regarding the identification of any offender.

7. The investigation information is updated and passed to a Neighbourhood Response Team or Crime Investigation Department, so that the suspect can be arrested.

8. The victim will be updated with the result following the arrest and the investigation will be finalised.

The police offer will pass your information to Victim Support so they can offer you any help and support you may need.

Reporting a crime

To report a crime, call 101 or use our online crime reporting form. In an emergency dial 999. Do not use the online crime reporting service if you want an immediate police response.

What happens next?

  • When a call or online crime report is received by the police, it will be routed through to our Contact and Control Room (CCR).
  • An assessment is made to determine the most appropriate response and whether the call requires an emergency response.
  • Some crimes will be dealt with by our Investigation Management (IMU). The role of the IMU is explained further on.
  • When the call or crime report is received by the CCR, an event is created which can serve as a reference number for you.
  • If the matter is not an emergency and if it is not passed to the IMU, arrangements will be made for an officer to visit you and take details from you in the form of a crime report.
  • An assessment will also be made as to whether a Crime Scene Investigator needs to attend to conduct a forensic examination of the crime scene to help gather evidence.
  • When the officer visits you, they will provide an explanation of what enquiries will be carried out.
  • They will also agree your preferred method of contact and how often you will be updated. This is known as the victim contract.
  • You will also be provided with a crime reference number which is generated once the details for the crime report are entered onto our crime system.
  • You will continue to receive updates on the case until enquiries are completed or the person is arrested and any decision to prosecute or not is made in accordance with the victim contract.

Suffolk Witness Care

Victim Support

Citizens Advice Bureau

 The Crown Prosecution Service