A Victim Personal Statement (VPS) lets you explain in your own words how the crime has impacted you and your family. It can play a key role in sentencing.
A common question people have is 'how will the VPS be used in sentencing?'
The VPS allows you to describe the effect that a crime has had on you and could include the following:
- How the crime has affected you physically, emotionally or financially
- Whether you feel vulnerable or intimidated
- If you are worried about the defendant being given bail
- Whether you are considering claiming compensation
- Anything you think may be helpful or relevant
The statement can be made at the same time as your witness statement and can be added to at any point before the court hearing. It will become part of the papers the court sees. This will include the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the defence and the magistrates and judges at the courts seeing the statement. If the impact of the crime changes over time then you should add or amend your VPS and the police may ask you do do this later.
Other important information:
- If you are a child or a vulnerable adult, your parent or carer can make the VPS for you if you want them to.
- If you are a business you can also make an ‘Impact Statement’ explaining how it has been affected by the crime.
- Once you have signed your statement, you won’t be able to change it, but you can give a new one to the police if you want to add more information.
- You can ask to read out your VPS in court or have someone read it for you, if the defendant is found guilty.
- The court will consider your VPS before sentencing an offender, whether it's read out or not