Complaints

If you are not happy with the service you have received or if we have failed to meet your expectations, we would like you to tell us about it so we can address your concerns and help improve our service to others. You may wish to contact the officer involved directly to discuss your concerns or you may prefer to discuss them with the officer’s supervisor. You can find contact details for officers and supervisors in frontline departments via our online directory. If you are dissatisfied with some aspect of the police service or our staff then you can complete our online comments form or you may make a complaint against the police.

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Victim Right to Review

The Victim Right to Review (VRR) scheme gives victims the right to request a review of a police decision not to prosecute a suspect. The scheme applies to National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) offences.

VRR applies to cases in which a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution, either following an arrest or voluntary arrangement.

The right to request a review arises in the following circumstances where the police decide-

If the disposal decision was made by the CPS then the right to review lies with them, provided the same eligibility criteria are met. VRR specifically relates to decisions not to prosecute and does not cover crime recording decisions or decisions not to continue with enquiries.

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

Who can apply?

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 per The Codes of Practice for Victims of Crime 2013, ‘a person who has suffered harm including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct’.

This includes:

The scheme is intended to allow a victim to have an avenue to appeal a decision not to prosecute and is separate from any complaint process.

It is acknowledged that a victim might ask an individual to act on their behalf, such as a solicitor or MP, in which case written confirmation will be required showing that the person in question has the authority of the victim to act on their behalf.

Time limits

Outcome of the review

There are six potential outcomes of a review:

  1. The original decision to take no further action is upheld;
  2. The original decision is overturned and proceedings are commenced against the suspect, i.e. they are charged/summonsed;
  3. The original decision is overturned and the suspect dealt with by way of an out of court disposal;
  4. The original decision is overturned and the case is referred to the CPS for a charging decision;
  5. It is determined that further enquiries need to be completed before the reviewing officer can make their decision;
  6. The original decision is overturned but the case is statute-bared and proceedings cannot be instigated.

The method of communicating the outcome of a review is decided on a case by case basis but all decisions will be confirmed in writing unless the circumstances of the case make it inappropriate or the victim has stated that the do not wish to receive written communication.

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 judicial review.

Disposal decisions made by the CPS

The same eligibility criteria for VRR applies to disposal decisions made by the CPS whose procedures and requirements are available on the CPS’S own web sites.

Victim Right to Review