Police Victim Right to Review - Key Facts

Introduction:

Police Victim Right to Review (VRR) relates to a right for a victim to ask for a review of a decision not to prosecute a suspect.

This arises when a decision is made not to bring proceedings where the police have authority to charge; or a decision is made that the case does not meet the ‘appropriate test’ for referral to the CPS for a charging decision

Qualifying Cases:

• Police Victim Right to Review will only apply to National Recording Standard Offences (an offence that has been recorded as a crime)

• Police Victim Right to Review will only apply to cases in which a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution, either following arrest or by voluntary arrangement.

• Police Victim Right to Review will only apply to decisions made on or after 1st April 2015

The following cases DO NOT fall within the scope of police VRR:

• Cases where no suspect has been identified and interviewed

• Cases where charges are brought in respect of some (but not all) allegations made or against some (but not all) possible suspects

• Cases where a charge is brought that relates to the matter complained about by the victim but the offence charged differs form the crime that was recorded; for instance the suspect is charged with common assault but an offence of actual bodily harm has been recorded.

• Cases which are concluded by way of out of court disposal; and

• Cases where the victim retracts their complaint or refuses to co-operate with the  investigation

It should be noted that VRR specifically relates to decisions not to prosecute and does not cover crime recording decisions or decisions not to continue with enquiries.

Who can apply under the scheme:

• Any victim in a qualifying case where a decision is made not to prosecute, is entitled to seek a review

• A victim is defined as a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct

This includes:

• Close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct

• Parents or guardians where the main victim is a child or youth under 18

• Police officers who are victims of crime

• Family spokespersons of victims with a disability or who are so badly injured that hey cannot communicate; and

• Businesses, providing they give a named point of contact.

VRR is not intended to allow others, such as campaign groups, to direct reviews of cases that relate to their area of interest
It is acknowledged that a victim might ask an individual to act on their behalf, such as a solicitor or an MP. These will be considered on a case by case basis and written consent will be required to authorise the person to act on behalf of the victim.

How to apply:

Use the Humberside Police online Victim Right to Review form as detailed below:

• Save a word version of the form to your computer, complete it and email it to: SPOCChiefOfficerSupportUnit@humberside.pnn.police.uk
• Print off, complete and post the form to Chief Officer Support Group, Humberside Police, Police Headquarters, Priory Road, Hull, HU5 5SF

Humberside Police must receive your review application within 3 months of being notified of the case being filed. Requests made after this period will only be dealt with if you have very special circumstances and you can fully explain your reasons for the delay. It will then be down to Humberside Polices discretion as to whether your case will be reviewed.

How will Humberside Police deal with my application and review:

• You will receive a letter within 10 working days to tell you we have received your application form.

• Your application requesting a review will be assessed for eligibility

• A reviewing officer will be appointed to complete the review and communicate the decision to you within an overall timeframe of 30 working days (i.e. 6 weeks)

Possible Outcomes:

• The original decision to take no further action is upheld

• The original decision is overturned and proceedings are commenced against the suspect, i.e. charged/summonsed

• The original decision is overturned and the suspect is dealt with by way of an out of court disposal

• The original decision is overturned and the case is referred to the CPS for a charging decision

• The original decision is overturned but the case is statue-barred and proceedings cannot be instigated.

If you are unhappy with the outcome:

Once a decision has been made by a reviewing officer, there is no further route of escalation within the force

A victim who remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the police review and wishes to pursue the matter further can apply to the High Court for a judicial review.

If you need more advice:

• You can contact an organisation such as your local Citizens Advice Bureau/Victim Support

• You can contact Humberside Police on tel: 101