Making or changing my Victim Personal Statement
When do I make a VPS?
The police will ask you whether you want to make a VPS, usually after they have taken your witness statement. They can help you to make a VPS or give you the support that you need to help you make a statement.
Do I have to make a VPS?
You don’t have to make a VPS if you don’t want to – it is your choice. Crime can affect people in different ways, and you might want to express how you feel in a different way.
If you decide not to make a VPS, it will not affect the investigation of the case.
No one will draw any conclusions or assume, for example, that you are unaffected by the crime.
However, research shows that the majority of those who made a VPS felt that it had a positive effect on their experience of the Criminal Justice System.
How can I make my VPS?
If you make your initial VPS at the same time as you make your witness statement, the VPS will be taken in the same way – in writing, by video or through an interpreter. A police officer can help you to do this.
What happens if I change my mind?
If you choose not to make a VPS straight away, don’t worry. You can always ask to make one later on. If you decide to make a VPS at a later date, contact the police officer in charge of your case and tell them that you would like to make a VPS. You can ask the officer to come back to see you and help you to make a VPS.
If your case is going to trial (which happens when the defendant pleads not guilty) the Witness Care Unit will ask if you have been offered the chance to make a VPS and give you the opportunity to make one or update it.
A VPS can be made, or updated, at any time before the alleged offender is sentenced by the court. So, don’t delay in making a VPS. If a defendant pleads guilty at the first hearing, they may be sentenced before you’ve had the chance to make a VPS.
Can I withdraw or change my VPS?
No. Once you have made a VPS, you can’t withdraw or change it. However, you can make an additional statement that clarifies or amends your original statement at any time before the trial. The additional statement will be submitted along with your original VPS.
You can also make a second VPS if you want to describe the full impact of the crime that may not have been obvious beforehand – for example, if the longer-term effects are only now becoming apparent, there is a greater (or lesser) financial loss, or you’re worried about the alleged offender being granted bail. A second VPS will usually be taken in writing.