Joining the Victim Contact Scheme

If you're the victim of a violent or sexual crime you'll be able to keep up to date with what's happening to the offender if they're sent to prison for 12 months or more.

The police will send your details to the Victim Contact Scheme. You'll be given a Victim Liaison Officer (VLO) who can tell you about important changes in the offender's sentence, eg if they're moved to an open prison.

You can choose not to take part in the scheme if you want.

If the offender appeals 

The offender can ask for the court’s decision to be reviewed by another court. The Witness Care Unit will tell you when and where the appeal hearing will take place. 

You’ll be able to go, if you want to. You may also be asked to give evidence. They'll also tell you what the outcome is, including any change to the sentence.

If new information is found

The offender can ask the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to look again at their case if information comes to light that might change their sentence or conviction. 

You might not be told about a review. Very few end up with the case being sent back to court.

Support after the trial ends

If you feel you need support after the trial there are lots of local organisations who can help. Enter your postcode in the box at the bottom of this page to find support near you.

Unwanted contact from the offender

Any unwanted contact from an offender will be treated very seriously. Whether it’s by text, letter or through social media sites, for example.

What to do if you’re contacted:

  • by a prisoner, report them to your Victim Liaison Officer if you have one, or contact the Victim Helpline on 0300 060 6699
  • by a prisoner serving their sentence in the community (known as being ‘on licence’), report them to your Victim Liaison Officer if you have one, the police or local probation service
  • by an offender who is under 18 and being supervised by a Youth Offending Team, report them to that team

You can also call the police on 999 if it's an emergency, or on 101.