We have a statutory duty to comply with the code of practice for victims of crime.
The code applies to direct victims, not third parties or indirect victims such as witnesses.
Parents or guardians of young victims under 17 (as long as they aren’t themselves the subject of investigation or charge) can receive services under the code as well as the young person.
Under 17-year-old victims are defined as vulnerable and qualify for an enhanced level of service.
In cases involving young offenders, the police must pass on the victims details to use so we can provide access to reparation or other restorative justice processes, unless the victim asks the police not to do so.
We should review and update our protocols with local police to ensure this is done efficiently. We must also decide if it would be appropriate to invite the victim to be involved in a restorative justice intervention and record the reasons for this decision.
Voluntary engagement in a restorative process
When making contact with victims, we will explain its role so a they can make an informed choice about whether they want to be involved. Victims’ involvement must always be voluntary and they must not be asked to do anything that would primarily benefit the offender.
Victims may choose not to receive services under the code at any time. The code states that the criminal justice system as a whole should be flexible and ensure victims receive the level of service they want.
Keep victims informed
If the victim agrees to be involved directly or indirectly in a YJS restorative process, we must keep them informed about the progress of the case and notify them when the intervention has concluded.
We may offer victims who choose not to be involved in a restorative process the option of receiving this information, however this is not a requirement of the code. The code sets out obligations for all criminal justice services to ensure victims receive information about their crime within a specified time.
Information about services for victims
If victims ask for additional help, we must provide information about local services providing advice, information and support to victims of crime. They can do this at any time during or after a restorative process.