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Victim Statements

What is a Victim Personal Statement?

Victim Personal Statements give victims the opportunity to state how a crime has affected them – physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially or in any other way and provide the criminal justice agencies with a ready source of information on how the particular crime has affected the victim involved.

A Victim Personal Statement is a statement that can be given to the police in addition to a witness statement following a crime or anytime afterwards prior to the Court hearing.

How do I give a Victim Personal Statement?

You should REQUEST the police take a Victim Personal Statement in addition to a witness statement if it is not offered by the police.

When the police attend to an incident they will take witness statements from those involved or in the vicinity of the offence.

Victim Personal Statements are separate from witness statements as they reflect the impact of the crime on the victim – the police will distinguish this in their notes.

In the event that your business is targeted, and not a specific individual you can designate one person to act as a contact for service providers (police or victims unit).

What should I include in a Victim Personal Statement?

A Victim Personal Statement can include matters which do not directly relate to evidence in the case. Therefore you can consider addressing issues that have affected you as a result of a crime for example:

  • Impact on business
  • Injuries
  • Long term discomfort
  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Emotional problems
  • Social problems
  • Financial problems
  • Employment difficulties

This list is not exhaustive but provides a guide of the issues that can be legitimately raised. Victim Personal Statements CANNOT include opinions of appropriate sentences – any reference will NOT be considered by a Court or Magistrate.

Can I Submit a Victim Personal Statement after an Incident?

In the event that you do not give a Victim Personal Statement immediately after the incident or you forgot to mention something you can submit additional information to the police before the Court hearing.

Why Should I Give a Victim Personal Statement?

A Victim Personal Statement will be used by Magistrates and Courts to understand the impact of a crime on the victim. The Victim Impact Statements adds context to a case and may help identify persistent offences and vulnerable victims.

Victim Personal Statements are read by magistrates and judges prior to sentencing to understand the impact of the crime on the individual.

Victim Impact Statements are treated the same as any other statements to prosecutors and will not have direct bearing on a final sentence.

A guide to victim personal statements is available here