The Victim Personal Statement (VPS) is important and gives victims a voice in the criminal justice process by helping others to understand how a crime has affected the victim. If a defendant is found guilty, the court will take the VPS into account, along with all the other evidence, when deciding upon an appropriate sentence.

A VPS is different from a witness statement. A witness statement mainly focuses on the crime against you such as what was said or what you heard in the incident. The VPS describes the impact of the crime on you.

The police must offer the opportunity to make a VPS to the following people:

  • any victim at the time they complete a witness statement about what has happened;
  • victims of the most serious crime (including bereaved close relatives), persistently targeted victims, and vulnerable or intimidated victims, irrespective of whether or not they have given a witness statement about what happened;
  • a parent or carer of a vulnerable adult or of a young victim under the age of 18 unless it is considered not to be in the best interests of the child or vulnerable adult. 

In addition the police may offer the opportunity for a victim of crime to make a VPS whether or not they make a witness statement where it seems appropriate. 

Victims under 18 

If you are a victim of crime under the age of 18, then you, your parent or your guardian will be able to make VPS to explain how a crime has affected you. 

Bereaved close relatives of victims 

Bereaved close relatives of a victim who died a result of criminal conduct are also entitled to make a VPS at any time prior to the sentencing of the offender.

Victim Personal Statement and the Parole Board

Victims who opt into the Probation Victim Contact Scheme for victims where the offender has been sentenced to custody for 12 months or more for a serious sexual or violent offence, must be given the opportunity to make a Victim Personal Statement to the Parole Board in those cases where the offender has a Parole Board review.

The Victim Personal Statement (VPS) gives victims the opportunity to explain how the crime affected them and their family, and what the impact of release will be.

More information about the Victim Contact Scheme and VPS.

Impact Statement for Business

If your business has been a victim of crime and you report this to the police, you can make an Impact Statement for Business (ISB). The ISB gives you the opportunity to set out the impact that a crime has had on the business such as direct financial loss, and wider impacts, e.g. operational disruption or reputational damage. The court will take the statement into account when determining sentence.

All businesses and enterprises (including charities but excluding public sector bodies), of any size may make an ISB through a nominated representative.

You can make an ISB to the police at the same time as they take statements about the alleged offence or download an ISB form and send the completed form to your police contact. Download the ISB form.