Recovery

What Am I Entitled To?

As a victim of crime you are entitled to have access to support services, irrespective of whether you have reported a crime to the police or not.

The Victims Code of Practice defines a victim as:

  • A person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct and a close relative (spouse, partner, relatives, siblings or dependents) of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct.

Entitlement to enhanced services

We know that not everyone requires extensive support or assistance. Sometimes, just knowing that support is there is enough. But for others, their personal circumstance can make them more in need of support.

Under the Victims’ Code of Practice those who are entitled to an enhanced service are:

  • victims of the most serious crime;
  • persistently targeted victims; and
  • vulnerable or intimidated victims.

If you belong to one or more of these groups and would like support please contact Beacon.

If you are unsure if you belong to one or more of these groups please see below for a more detailed explanation.

 

Victims' Code Priority Groups

1. Victims of the most serious crime

If you are a victim of:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Hate crime
  • Terrorism
  • Sexual offences
  • Human trafficking
  • Attempted murder
  • Kidnap
  • False imprisonment
  • Arson with intent to endanger life
  • Wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent

2. Persistently targeted victims

If you have been targeted on more than one occasion, over a period of time, particularly if you have been deliberately targeted or you are a victim of harassment or stalking.

3. Vulnerable or intimidated victims

Vulnerable victims

a) You are under the age of 18 years at the time of the offence, or

b) The quality of your evidence is likely to be affected because:

  • You suffer from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983;
  • You have a learning disability;
  • You have a physical disability or are suffering from a physical disorder.

Intimidated victims

  • If the quality of your evidence will be affected because of your fear or distress about testifying in court.

When assessing whether a victim is intimidated, we take account of:

  • Fear or distress about appearing in court due to behaviour from the accused toward the victim
  • Sexual offences, human trafficking are automatically deemed as intimidated. Some gun and knife offences are also included
  • The victim’s age; social and cultural background; religious beliefs or political opinions; ethnic origin; domestic and employment circumstances.

 

Beacon Victim Care Centre Aims

Our service aims to help you to cope and recover from the impact of crime.

Our approach recognises the importance of ensuring that practical and emotional support is on hand and understands that your needs change over time.

Please also refer to our GET HELP section that provides links for specialist support organisations.

 

Contacting Beacon

If you feel that you are entitled to an enhanced service please call the Victim Care Centre on 03000 11 55 55 (option 3) between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and between 9am and 5pm on Saturdays.

A Case Manager will discuss your needs with you and, where appropriate, work with partners to provide a complete wrap around service to help you to cope and recover. All calls are treated confidentially.

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Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a service that aims to repair the harm caused from a crime. Under the Victims Code of Practice all victims of crime have a right to receive information about restorative justice.

The process can bring a victim and an offender together to communicate in a variety of ways and give victims a voice!

It can give victims of crime the chance to have their say, explain the effect on themselves and seek a direct explanation from the offender about what they did. Through this the offender can begin to understand the impact of their behaviour.

Restorative justice does not replace the criminal justice system but helps to deal with the emotions related to the crime. It can be a means of closure or way to move on for the victim.

Restorative justice works alongside criminal justice proceedings and most victims tell us it helps. In fact, 85 per cent of victims of crime who have used restorative justice were satisfied with the process. And 78 per cent would recommend it to others.

How restorative justice works

Restorative justice can only take place when the offender has been identified and accepted guilt.

It doesn’t just happen when a court case has taken place; it is available when a victims is ready.

To start with, there’ll be a meeting between the victim and a trained facilitator.

At the meeting, the victim can explain:

  • what happened
  • how it affected them
  • what might make them feel better about it

If appropriate, the facilitator may then suggest communication between the victim and the offender. They’ll take their wishes and any concerns into account and treat both parties’ emotional and physical safety as a top priority.

The next step will be for the facilitator to speak to the offender about what happened and their understanding of the harm that was caused. They will then be asked if they would like the opportunity to communicate with the victim.

If the facilitator doesn’t feel a face to face meeting is a good idea, they’ll let the victim and/or the offender know and explain why. Instead of a meeting, if appropriate, the facilitator may be able to convey a message from the victim to the offender.

The facilitator will be a specialist in providing restorative justice and trained in supporting victims of crime. The service is completely confidential and impartial.

Restorative Justice Referrals

​If you are interested in restorative justice and would like to find out more, please contact the Beacon team at: rj@hertfordshirebeacon.org ​or call on 0300 011 5555 (Option 4).

If you are a professional looking to refer a client for restorative justice please contact the email address or phone number above for a referral form.

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What We Do

At The Beacon Victim Care Centre, our main focus is to help victims cope and recover from their experience with crime. If needed, our team of dedicated and trained professionals can be there to support you every step of the way.

Firstly, if you have reported the crime to the police, you will automatically be contacted by the Victim Service Team. They will tell you about:

  • Your Crime Reference Number
  • What happens next
  • The services available to you

They will also ask how you would like to be notified of progress with your crime and how often you would like to be updated.

Additionally, they will find out you whether you are entitled to additional support from our Beacon Victim Care Team and ask you whether you would like it. Under the Victims' Code of Practice, some victims have personal circumstances that entitle them to additional support. You can find out more about enhanced support here. If you are not entitled to additional support under the Victims Code of Practice, you can still contact our Beacon Victim Care Team at any time to arrange practical help or emotional support.

Anyone who is entitled to, or feels they need our support, is assigned a Case Manager. Your Case Manager will undertake a needs assessment with you, which will help assess what impact the crime has had on you and your life. They then develop a support plan based on what you might need, and what support we can offer. Where necessary, we can refer you on to other services who have specialist skills and knowledge, however, rest assured this will only happen if you give your approval.

If you have been a victim of a crime and would like support but you do not want to report the crime to the police you are still entitled to the services Beacon can provide.

To access our Beacon Victim Care Team support, you can contact us using the contact details provided below. Please be assured your enquiry will be handled sensitively and in confidence.

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