A VPS helps those involved in your case (like the police, the prosecutor and the courts) to understand the impact that the crime has had on you. That way we can make sure you get the support you need.
Why is it important?
Your VPS is important because it will help everyone involved in the case – the police, the prosecutor and the court – to understand the impact that the crime has had on your life. This can help them to make important decisions about the case.
The VPS will form part of the case papers, so if your case goes to court, it will be sent to the defendant’s solicitor.
You can say whatever you like about how the crime has affected you. For example, you might want to mention:
- any physical or psychological injury you have suffered
- if you feel vulnerable or intimidated
- how your quality of life has changed on a day-to-day basis
- if you are worried about the offender being given bail
However, your VPS should not include your thoughts or opinion on how the alleged offender should be punished – this is for the magistrate or judge to decide.
Will it make a difference to the case?
Your VPS is important and could make a difference to the case. It can inform decisions on whether to charge an offender or grant a defendant bail.
Can my VPS influence the sentence?
The judge or magistrate will consider how the crime has affected your life when passing the sentence – along with all the other evidence in the case and the relevant sentencing guidelines.
Your (or your close relatives’) opinion on what you think the sentence should be will not be taken into account.