Being a victim or witness of crime can be distressing and traumatic. This page is designed to provide you with help and support, relevant information and advice with links to other partner organisations that can assist you.
If you have been a victim of crime, you have the right to receive a certain level of service from criminal justice agencies.
The Ministry of Justice published a Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, which is also known as the Victims Code. An easy read version, a children's version and versions in other languages can also be found through this link.
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime explains what information, services and support victims of crime can expect to receive at every stage of their journey through the criminal justice system.
The Victims’ Code details your rights as a victim or witness and summarises the types of support victims and witnesses of crime have the right to receive from police, courts, and other criminal justice agencies.
You have twelve ‘Rights’ as a victim of crime:
To be able to understand and to be understood
To have the details of the crime recorded without unjustified delay
To be provided with information when reporting the crime
To be referred to services that support victims and have services and support tailored to your needs
To be provided with information about compensation
To be provided with information about the investigation and prosecution
To make a Victim Personal Statement
To be given information about the trial process and your role as a witness
To be given information about the outcome of the case and any appeals
To be paid expenses and have property returned
To be given information about the offender following a conviction
To make a complaint about your Rights not being met
Please read this leaflet to find more information about what victims of crime should expect from each criminal justice agency.
Support for Victims of Crime
The Dorset Victims’ Bureau consists of a dedicated team, actively working to keep victims informed about the progress of their crime investigation.
The Dorset Police Victim of Crime leaflet provides information about police investigations and includes details of support services available to victims.
The Victims’ Bureau and Dorset Police officers are responsible for updating victims from the point the crime is first reported through to its disposal at court. They inform victims when a suspect has been arrested, charged, or bailed, and notify victims of the bail conditions and the decision regarding case disposal. Victims will be offered support to help deal with the impact of the crime.
The opening hours of the Dorset Victims’ Bureau are Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
If you would like to speak to the Victims’ Bureau Team, please call 01202 222799.
If a member of the team is not available, or if you are calling outside of the opening times, please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
Victim Support Dorset
Victim Support has been commissioned by the Dorset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide a service to victims of crime in Dorset.
Victim Support is an independent charity which provides emotional and practical help to people who have been affected by crime in Dorset. They are there to help anyone affected by crime, not only those who experience it directly, but also their friends, family and any other people involved. This service is free and there is a broad range of help available.
Victim Support Dorset provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for people affected by crime and traumatic events – regardless of whether you have reported the crime to the police or not.
The support services they offer are tailored to the needs of each person. These include:
- Information and advice
- Immediate emotional and practical help
- Longer term emotional and practical help
- Peer support and group work
- Restorative justice
- Personal safety services
- Help in navigating the criminal justice system
Their team of highly trained staff and volunteers provide a wide range of specialist services that help people affected by all types of crime.
If you call the Dorset Victim Support Team, they will make sure you get the information and support you need in confidence. You can contact them for support regardless of whether you’ve contacted the police, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. They provide practical and emotional support and will help you for as long as it takes to overcome the impact of crime.
If you’ve been affected by crime, call the Dorset Victim Support Team on
0300 3030 163. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-6.30pm.
If you need support outside of these hours, call the Support Line for free on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support via the Dorset Victim Support website.
Other Support Providers
Reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. Telephone 0300 123 2040 www.Actionfraud.police.uk
The Shores – Dorset Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
Provides immediate crisis support for victims of rape or sexual assault. This also includes access to heathcare and collection of forensic samples (if appropriate).
Referrals can be made via the Police or you can self-refer to the service.
Telephone 0800 970 9954 www.the-shores.org.uk
STARS Dorset – Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services
Provides practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped or sexually abused, either recently or in the past.
STARS provides an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service and also counselling services.
Telephone 01202 308840 www.starsdorset.org
Provides information and advice on all issues relating to independent living. Telephone 01202 771336 Access Dorset
Prejudice Free Dorset
Promotes inclusive communities by supporting victims of hate crime. www.prejudicefreedorset.co.uk
Provides help against homophobic and transphobic prejudice, crime, and discrimination. Telephone 0800 612 3010 www.intercomtrust.org.uk
National Stalking Helpline
Offers information and support for victims of stalking. Telephone 0808 802 0300 National Stalking Helpline | Suzy Lamplugh Trust
Restorative justice gives victims the chance to meet or communicate with their offenders to explain the real impact of the crime – it empowers victims by giving them a voice. It can provide a means of closure and enable you to move on while providing an opportunity for offenders to take responsibility for their actions and understand their impact on others.
Restorative justice is not an alternative to the criminal justice system and does not allow an offender to “get off lightly”. Restorative justice can take place after criminal proceedings in court, or it can be used alongside an out of court disposal as one of the conditions which an offender needs to abide by.
Restorative justice services are commissioned by the Dorset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and provided by Restorative Justice Dorset, who aim to offer anyone who comes into contact with the criminal justice system an opportunity to participate in restorative justice or restorative mediation.
They support positive communication between people harmed by crime and those responsible for the harm. This communication is not always in the form of a face-to-face meeting; the method of communication can vary depending on your needs.
To contact Restorative Justice Dorset - Telephone: 07535 692669 or 07535 692584
Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service (DCYJS)
DCYJS can provide restorative justice services where the offender is under 18 years of age. The restorative justice practitioners will contact all victims of crimes committed by the young people they work with.
DCYJS works directly with young people who have committed criminal offences. Their purpose is to repair the harm caused to the victims and to help young people make positive changes to keep both themselves and other people safe.
If you have been a victim of crime, there are people available to help you. If you have not reported the crime to police, you can still access support.