Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on victimandwitnessinformation.org.uk. Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Skip to content

I’m a young victim of crime

Extra help from the start

If you’re under 18, there are lots of ways you’ll get help after a crime. And that goes for your parent or guardian too, as long as it helps you.  

You don’t have to report the crime to the police to get the support you need. Find support in your area

What happens if you report a crime

When you talk to the police, you can have someone with you. They’ll just need to be over 18. 

If you’ve witnessed the crime, you might be asked to describe what happened in a witness statement. This can be recorded on video, so you don’t have to repeat it in court.

The investigating officer will let you know in 1 working day what’s happening with the suspect – for example, if they’re being allowed home before going to court.

This officer will also pass your details on to a local support service that can help you recover from the crime and sort out any practical things for you.

If your case goes to court

If you agree, the police will pass your details to the Witness Service, which is based in the court. They will be in touch before the trial starts and can answer your questions about what will happen. You can visit the court to see what it’s like before the trial. The Witness Service will help you all the way through until the case is over. 

If needed, you’ll also get extra support to help you give your best evidence. This could include giving evidence by live video link so you don’t have to be in the courtroom, or getting someone called an intermediary to help you communicate with the court.

There are videos you can watch that explain what happens at court, who will be involved in the process, and what you’ll need to do.

After the trial

You might be able to join the Victim Contact Scheme. If you do, you’ll be kept updated on what’s happening with the offender after they go to prison.  

You can also give your thoughts on any rules they must follow when they come out of prison, such as staying away from where you live.

Your parent or guardian might be given this information. They can then decide what details to share with you.

Glossary 

Case

When you report a crime to the police, everything about that crime is then called the case.

Intermediary

A person who can help you understand what is being said in court. They can also help other people in court understand your answers to any questions.

Investigating officer

The police officer in charge of your case who can keep you up to date with the investigation. You can call them on 101 and give your crime reference number to be put through to the right person.

Witness Service

The people at court who provide practical and emotional support to witnesses.

Witness statement

A written or recorded account of the facts and details of a crime.

This is a new website – your feedback will help us to improve it.