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)
1 Linton Road
Barking IG11 8HE
There are local outreach centres throughout East London.
If you've been affected by crime, call the East London Victim Assessment and Referral Service on freephone 0808 168 9291.
Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.
You can also contact your local victim care team in East London on 0203 910 9040.
Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
In an emergency, victims must always call the Police on 999. Please note that Victim Support Scheme are not an emergency service.