Advice and Support for Victims and Witnesses
Reporting a crime
In an emergency, please call 999.
What to Expect
Being a victim of a crime can be a distressing experience; the information in this section and the following links are available to help and guide you through the Criminal Justice process.
For more details about what you can expect from us and our partner criminal justice agencies, please have a read through the Information for Victims of Crime leaflet.
Our Commitment to You
We are committed to supporting victims and witnesses of crime and providing the best possible service at all times.
Support for victims and witnesses
The Witness Care Units (WCU) were set up as part of the No Witness, No Justice project, initially a joint Police/Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initiative aimed at ensuring that witnesses are better informed, better prepared and better supported throughout any court proceedings.
Lancashire used to have a number of units across the County but from the 1st of January 2021 centralisation has left only one unit at Chorley Police Station. This Unit now deals with Lancashire Cases. The CPS WCU located in Preston has closed and all cases have transferred across to the Chorley unit.
The WCU provides the following services to civilian victims and witnesses from first court hearing date right through to the conclusion of the case: It:
- provides a single point of contact for victims and witnesses.
- Conducts needs assessments on all victims & witnesses who are required to give evidence at Court, offering them services such as pre-court familiarisation visits.
- Inform victims and witnesses of Court results in key stages of the Court process.
- Refer victims and witnesses to relevant support agencies if they require further support.
- Support and encourage victims and witnesses to give evidence at Court.
Every case is allocated to a specified Witness Care Officer (WCO). This WCO then acts as the point of contact for witness/victim and will monitor the case throughout the court process until a final outcome is reached.
If a case gets listed for trial the Witness Care Officer will be informed which witnesses are required to attend court by the CPS. The WCU is not involved in the process of deciding which witnesses need to attend or who can be agreed. They are therefore unable to discuss any evidential issues or answer questions as to why a police or civilian witness is required for court.
Contact details are as follows:
Police WCU - Chorley Police Station
- 01257 246272 Office hours are 9am to 5pm (Closed Public Holidays)
- Secure e-mail box: [email protected]
Lancashire Victim Services (LVS) has been established by Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw to provide support to victims and witnesses of crime across the county.
If you have been a victim or have witnessed a crime, even if you haven’t reported it, the service is here to support you. LVS provide emotional support, information and practical help to anyone who needs it.
- Visit lancashirevictimservices.org to find out more.
Lancashire PCC’s Commitment to Victims of Crime
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has a clear commitment to championing victims’ rights and ensuring vulnerable people are supported.
For further information please read the PCC’s victims’ and witnesses’ strategy.
If you have been a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour you could ask to take part in Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice seeks to bring all parties involved in an incident together to play a part in repairing the harm caused and find a positive way forward. It can be used in a wide range of cases from low level offending to grave and serious crimes.
Victim’s Right to Review
The Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) allows victims of crime to request a review of a police or a CPS decision not to prosecute a suspect. It applies to charging decisions made on or after 1 April 2015, for cases where a suspect has been interviewed under caution.
The request for a review must be made within 3 months of the victim being informed of the decision not to prosecute.
If your case is one that the police could charge but decided not to, or where the police decided not to refer a case to CPS for a charging decision, please write to The Head of Criminal Justice, PO Box 77, Preston, Lancashire PR4 5SB or via [email protected]
If your case was referred to the CPS for a charging decision and the CPS decided not to proceed with the prosecution, please see CPS VRR Leaflet.
Contacting an officer
If you need to contact the officer who is dealing with your case, please click on Contact an Officer.
Domestic Abuse is threatening behaviour, violence or abuse that takes place between adults who are partners (or ex-partners) or family members and can be physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse or emotional abuse. For more information, please see our Domestic Abuse pages.
Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme
If you are concerned about the possible violent or abusive history of your partner or the partner of someone you know, you can request information from the police through the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme. For more information, please see our Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme pages.
Rape and Sexual Assault
For more information on rape and sexual assault, and support services, please see our Rape and Sexual Assault pages.
Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence
For more information on forced marriage and honour based violence, and support services, please see Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence pages.
Stalking and Harassment
1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men are stalked at some point in their life; for more information, please see our Stalking and Harassment.
A hate crime is a crime that is targeted at a person or their property because of their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. For more information, please see our Hate Crime pages.
Some of our PDF and Word documents are essential to sharing information. Over the coming months, we are reviewing all our web pages and making the necessary changes to ensure that they are accessible for all.
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to the organisation.
However, we recognise that there are several PDF and Word documents that are essential to our organisation and that we have a duty to publish these in a format accessible to all. Alterative formats of all documents on our website are available upon request. You can make a request by emailing our Media and Engagement Department:
Please make sure you include in your message the following:
- The name of the document you require in an alternative format
- The format you require the document in
- Your name