Witness and victim support
Many witnesses feel worried about going to court, regardless of whether they are a victim of crime or not. There are services available in the borough to give support and advice to victims of crime and people who are witnesses of crime.
This information is for victims and witnesses of crime, and their families and friends.
If you report a crime to the police you can expect:
- the police to investigate the crime;
- in most cases, to be contacted by Victim Support - unless you ask the police not to pass on your details;*
- to be told by the police if someone is charged with, or cautioned for, the offence;
- to be told (if you ask to be) by the police or the Crown Prosecution Service if the charge is later dropped or downgraded;
- if you are needed as a witness, to be given a 'Witness in Court' leaflet, and told the date of the trial;
- if the case goes to court, consideration to be given to making a compensation order in your favour;
- to be told (if you ask to be) the result of the court case; in more serious cases, to be told (if you ask to be) the result of any appeal against conviction or sentence;
- to be given advice about applying for compensation for personal injury from the criminal Injuries Compensation Authority; and
- to be given crime prevention advice if you ask for it.
* Not all categories of crime are routinely referred to Victim Support by the police
As a victim or witness of crime there is support available to you.
Victim Support Scheme
Victim Support Scheme (VSS) is an independent voluntary organisation which provides emotional support, information and advocacy to all victims of crime who live in Tower Hamlets.
The team consists of trained paid staff and volunteers to provide the services. VSS has three objectives:
- To show care and concern for victims of crime, giving free, confidential support, advice and information.
- To take up issues of concern with relevant voluntary and statutory agencies relating to the victims needs (Social Policy) and
- To support witnesses at Thames Magistrate and Youth Court. VSS provides a crisis intervention service, which provides emotional and practical support to clients and can refer them to specialist agencies.
Opening times: Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm (Appointments and drop-ins)
London E7 9AB
Tel: 020 8555 8254
Fax: 020 8522 1757
0845 3030 900
Out of hours Monday - Friday 9am - 9pm
9am - 7pm Weekends
9am - 5pm on Bank Holidays
In an emergency, victims must always call the Police on 999. Please note that Victim Support Scheme are not an emergency service.