Victim personal statements in criminal proceedings

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Victim personal statements in criminal proceedings
  • Victim personal statements—guidance
  • Victim personal statements—what are they?
  • Right to make a VPS
  • Who should be offered an opportunity to make a VPS?
  • Making the VPS—form
  • Making the VPS—when will the VPS be made
  • Sharing, service and use of a victim personal statement
  • What to include in a VPS
  • The sentencing court's approach where there is a victim personal statement
  • More...

Victim personal statements in criminal proceedings

Victim personal statements—guidance

Guidance on the making, form and use of a victim personal statement (VPS), sometimes referred to as a victim impact statement, is available from various sources, including:

  1. Criminal Practice Direction supplementing the Criminal Procedure Rules (specifically Criminal Practice Directions 2015, para VII Sentencing F (victim personal statements) and I (Impact Statements for Businesses (ISB))

  2. the Joint Agency Guide to the Victim Personal Statement (Joint Agency Guide)

  3. the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime issued in accordance with section 32 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales (Victims’ Code)) )

  4. the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforcement guide on VPS (HSE Guide on VPS), and

  5. the Ministry of Justice Guidance to victims: Making a Victim Personal Statement

Practitioners should have regard to these resources when advising in relation to a VPS.

Victim personal statements—what are they?

A VPS is a statement from the victim of crime explaining the effect the crime has had on them or, where the victim has died, the impact on surviving relatives. It has two main purposes:

  1. to give victims the formal opportunity to explain, in their own words, how a crime has affected them physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way

  2. to help the court and prosecution authorities to identify

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