Updated 10 November 2020
Words you may need to know
Co-ordinated service – a group of organisations that work together to offer help
Court Usher – a member of staff at the Court who helps run the Court
Magistrate's Court Greffe - the office that carries out the administration for the Magistrate’s Court
Same priority - the same importance
Remanded - if a case is ‘remanded’ the date for the hearing of the case in Court is changed to a future date
Treasury – Government department dealing with financial matters
What is the ‘Victims Charter’?
The Victims' Charter explains the co-ordinated service that exists to help the victim of a crime in Jersey to find out information about the crime and about the help that is available for his/her emotional and practical needs.
The Victim’s Charter aims to make sure that everything possible will be done to deal with the needs of the victim and anyone else who has been affected by the incident.
Statement of Rights for Victims of Crime
The rights of victims of crime must be given the same priority as those of the defendant.
Victims of crime, and where relevant, their immediate family, must not be discriminated against on the basis of age, gender, sexuality, disability, culture, race, religious belief, occupation, political opinion or the nature (or type) of their complaint.
Victims must have the right to:
- Respect and recognition at all stages of the criminal justice proceedings
- Receive information and explanation about the progress of their case
- Provide information to the court responsible for decisions relating to the defendant
- Ask for their physical safety and their psychological well-being to be protected
- Ask for protection from any intrusion into their privacy
- Receive information regarding their rights and the services available
- Have access to free victim support services
- Apply for compensation both from the offender and from the States
- Have access to health care services
- Information about what happens once a crime is reported
Reporting a crime
The police will respond to a call as quickly as they can. A 999 call should be answered within 5 seconds. If help is required it should arrive within 6 minutes if the call is to somewhere in St Helier or 10 minutes if it is to anywhere else in Jersey.
The person who calls is given a Crime Reference Number by the police and the number of the person or Crime Desk which will deal with the case.
The victim will be given a copy of a 'Victims of Crime' leaflet as soon as the matter is reported to the police. This explains how the victim and the police can assist each other. It also explains the Victim Support Scheme and how the victim can apply for compensation for injury, loss or damage caused as the result of a crime.
The police will keep victims informed of any important developments in their case.
As cases are often remanded several times, victims will be kept informed of the new hearing date for their case. When a defendant has been sentenced the police Witness Care Unit will contact the victim to tell them of the Court’s decision.
Specialist help is available when the crime involves a death, or if a child is the victim of a crime. This specialist help includes support from the Family Protection Team, Family Liaison Officers or Victim Liaison Officers.
In cases where a child is the victim of a serious crime, a police officer who has received specialist training and a Child Care Officer from the Children's Service will be available.
In cases of rape or serious sexual assault, a police officer who has received special training is available.
If someone has experienced sexual assault, staff at Dewberry House Sexual Assault Referral centre are there to help. Available 24 hours a day on 01534 888222 or visit www.dewberryhouse.je
Support is also available from Jersey Action Against Rape on their Helpline 01534 482800 or www.jaar.je
In cases of domestic violence, the details of the victim will be passed to one of the following who offer support and guidance for women:
Women's Refuge: 24/7 Freefone 0800 7356836, http://jerseywomensrefuge.org/
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors: 01534 880505
Other victims of crime can obtain emotional support and practical help from Victim Support, 01534 440496, www.victimsupportjersey.co.uk
How the crime might affect the victim in the future
The police will ask the victim if they are worried that there might be more trouble (victimisation) in the future. They will also ask the victim for details of any loss, damage or injury. The police, Centeniers, Magistrates and Jurats may take this information into consideration when making their decisions.
In cases where the Probation Service has responsibility for supervising prisoners on licence who have received life imprisonment or have been sentenced for serious sexual or violent offences, the Probation Service will attempt to contact the victim to provide information about how the sentence of the offender is progressing. There is a Victim Notification Scheme so that the victim, with their consent, can be notified of the month of release of the offender. The scheme can also obtain information from the victim about any concerns or worries they may have for when the conditions of release of the offender are being considered.
Giving evidence in Court
If the victim is required to give evidence in Court, they will be advised of the date, time and location of the hearing by the police Witness Care Unit. They will conduct a Needs Assessment so that any specific needs the victim or witness has in relation to giving evidence at the trial can be taken care of.
If the victim/witness would like a pre-trial visit in order to see around the court room beforehand, this can be arranged with the Witness Service. The victim will also be provided with information about what they can expect to happen in court. This information includes contact details of people and organisations who can be of help to the victim. The Witness Service can provide support before, during and after the Court hearing if required.
On arrival at the Court the victim will be met by the Court Usher or Witness Service, with whom any queries or worries they have can be raised. A victim can ask if they can wait in a separate place to anybody else involved in the case.
To claim expenses in connection with going to Court, a claim form needs to be correctly completed and given to the Magistrate's Court Greffe. They will try to deal with the claim and send it to the Treasury for payment within five days of receipt. If this is not possible the claim must be dealt with by the Greffe no more than 10 days after the form was received.
Further information on giving evidence is contained within the Witness Charter available at https://jersey.police.uk/media/32536/witness-charter.pdf
The trial will be arranged for the earliest possible date. If a child is required to give evidence they will be allocated a Child Witness Support Worker who will assist throughout the trial.
The Support Worker will introduce the Court Liaison Officer when the courts are not busy. The Liaison Officer will show the child and their carer around and explain what happens in the Court. The Liaison Officer will be with the carer at all times.
Before giving evidence, the child will wait in a private area with their carer and the Liaison Officer. It might be possible for a child to give evidence over a TV link or from behind a screen in the Court in appropriate cases. If a TV link is to be used, the child and their carer will be able to watch a demonstration and see how the TV link works before the trial starts. The Child Witness Support Officer will be outside the room.
Once the trial is over, support continues to be available to the child if required.
The Children’s Service can provide child victim reports to the Court to advise them of the impact of serious crime on the child and their family.
Child victims of sexual or physical abuse will be offered emotional support and ongoing therapeutic help if it is required from the Child Protection Team at the Children's Service on 01534 443500 or call MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) on 01534 519000.
NSPCC Jersey also offer a therapeutic service on 01534 760800 or 0800 090 2270
Emotional and practical support for victims
The police may pass details to the Victim Support Scheme within seven days of the matter being reported unless the victim has requested them not to.
Victim Support Jersey will contact victims of crime within two working days after they receive details of the case from the police.
Victims can also contact Victim Support themselves directly on 01534 440496.
Certain types of crime such as cases involving sexual offences, domestic violence and murder will be referred to the appropriate support services with the victim’s agreement.
i) Assault (except cases of domestic violence which are referred to the Domestic Violence Officer at Police Headquarters)
ii) Burglary/theft from place of residence
iii) Robbery/theft from a person
iv) Arson/criminal damage to domestic premises
v) Racial incidents (any incident which is seen or felt to be racist by the victim or any other person)
vi) Repeat victims of crime. Annoying/obscene telephone calls/communications (where calls are of a sexual or explicit nature or where there is a repetition of incidents)
vii) In cases involving sexual offences and murder the victim’s details will only be given to the Victim Support Scheme if the victim agrees.
viii) Any other crime may be referred to Victim Support if it is thought to be appropriate. Alternatively the victim can contact Victim Support themselves on 01534 440496 if immediate support is required.
Persons suffering personal injury as a result of a crime
Persons suffering personal injury as a result of a crime may apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
The claim form and a 'Victims of Crimes of Violence - a Guide to Jersey's Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme' leaflet is available from the police, Citizens Advice Jersey, Victim Support or from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board on 01534 441028.
The form can also be downloaded from the www.gov.je website.
The Court dealing with the crime may consider making a Compensation Order if the victim has suffered loss, damage or injury. The police will give the victim a form to complete and return so that compensation can be considered.
In cases of domestic violence, the details of the victim will be passed to the Women's Refuge or Independent Domestic Violence Advisors as appropriate who offer support and guidance for women.
In cases of sexual assault, staff at Dewberry House Sexual Assault Referral centre are there to help. Available 24 hours a day on 01534 888222 to give any support needed. Visit www.dewberryhouse.je for more information.
Health care for the victim
Medical attention, when required, will be offered as soon as possible and medical information will be held in strict confidence by hospital staff.
Emotional and psychological support will be offered following bereavement or other traumatic events.