New appeal options for crime victims

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Victims of crime in the county now have the right to appeal if police in North Yorkshire decide not to proceed with a prosecution.

In some cases, police officers can decide that ‘no further action’ is needed, despite acknowledging that a crime has been committed and a suspect has been identified.

Now, under a new scheme, victims are to have a greater say in how their case is handled - including the option to request a review.

“The scheme permits a review to be done in an open, fair and accountable manner by an independent officer,” said Chief Insp Mark Khan from the Criminal Justice Department for North Yorkshire Police.

“Our aim is to continue to build confidence, satisfaction and transparency in our decision making processes amongst victims of crime and we believe the VRR process will help to do just that.”

The new scheme, agreed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), applies only when a crime is recorded and a suspect has been interviewed under caution.

Only then, and if police decide not to proceed with a prosecution, can the case be appealed.

Julia Mulligan, police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire said: “I have committed to putting victims at the heart of policing in North Yorkshire, and this is an example of making sure the victims’ voice is heard at every stage.

“Policing and the criminal justice system can be complicated.

“This scheme gives victims the chance to better understand why decisions have been taken, as well make sure the police are looking again at cases where victims don’t feel like the right decision has been made.”

North Yorkshire Police says that in circumstances where the RVV does not apply, victims can still make an appeal to the Crown Prosecution Service or a complaint to the police.

To find out more about how to have a case reviewed, contact North Yorkshire Police’s VRR officer, a police officer who is independent from all cases.

To access the scheme and have a case reviewed, call 101 and ask to speak to the Victims’ Right to Review Officer, email victimsrighttoreview@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or send a request in writing to: Victims’ Right to Review Officer, Athena House, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4XF.

For more information about the changes visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/VRR.