Victim Support

Providing help and support for victims that have been affected by crime, have suffered in an abusive relationship or are vulnerable is a vital part of policing. Crime can have a lasting impact on those affected by it making it important that victims fully understand what happens once a crime has been reported and which services can provide support and advice.

Receiving the right support and advice plays a pivotal role in helping a victim of crime understand how as police we can assist from when an initial crime report is made through to prosecution case decision.

If you’ve been a victim of crime and need further support and information to assist you through the process, here you will find an abundance of information which may assist you in understanding how criminal investigations work.

Each crime reported is split into four phases of investigation:

Phase 1 Reporting

Phase 2 Recall of events

Phase 3 Building a case

Phase 4 Decision & Further Support

To find out more about each area, please select from the drop downs highlighted below. 

 

Remember

We believe you.

We will support you.

You are important to us.

We will be honest and open with you.

We are here to help you.

The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime sets out the services and a minimum standard that must be provided to victims of crime by organisations in England and Wales - including Humberside Police. For more information about the victim code please click here.

What can I expect from Humberside Police once I have reported a crime?

Once a report has been made to us, we will take necessary action to ensure your safety. You will be asked to recall the events to an officer so that they understand what has happened. You may be asked to complete a medical examination or asked to allow the officer to download your phone (if necessary).

To assist us with lines of enquiry sometimes, a press release may be issued to help identify witnesses. Completing Phase 1 means that we can start our investigation, and we can protect you and other people from harm. We will support you throughout this phase and will offer you a referral to more specialist support.

What happens at the forensic examination?

You will go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre where a Crisis Worker (independent from the police) will be there to support you through the process. You will also meet a Forensic Nurse or Doctor who will lead the examination. They will take your medical history and explain in detail what will happen (for example, the use of swabs).

The purpose of the examination is firstly to ensure your medical welfare, and secondly to record injuries/ take samples from you which may assist the investigation. We only have a certain timeframe for forensics. You can shower and change your clothes at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre should you wish to.

FAQs: Will you need to download my phone?

We know that if a suspect is charged and decides to stand trial, the defence may say that there is information on your phone or social media that could be important.

We have a legal duty to investigate all reasonable lines of enquiry and this sometimes includes downloading some of the information on your phone. If a phone download is required, the officer will discuss with you what they would like to download and why and will ask for you to agree to hand over your device.

If you have concerns about this, the officer will be able to discuss this with you in more detail. We can sometimes do the download while you wait (as a lot of victims prefer this instead of handing over their phone for a long time).

FAQs: Will the offender have their phone taken?

This will depend on the case, but as with your phone, we have a legal duty to investigate all reasonable lines of enquiry, which may include downloading and reviewing some of the information on their phone.

FAQs: What happens with the investigation if I do not provide XYZ (e.g. phone)?

If a suspect is charged and decides to stand trial it could leave an opportunity for the defence to say that you were hiding something if there is a reasonable suspicion that there is relevant information on the phone.

The officer will discuss with you your reasons for not handing over your phone/device and will try to address any concerns. It may be that your reasons will be brought up in court to explain why we did not obtain information from your phone/device.

FAQs: What do you mean by “start an investigation”?

Complete all really important actions and lines of enquiry to give us the best chance of bringing the offender to justice.

How long will it take for the suspect to be prosecuted?

Once the initial report has been made over the next month or so (phase 2), we will continue with our investigation and follow lines of enquiry. For example, we may speak to witnesses or ask you about relevant records about you held by other organisations, for example XXXXX. We will normally interview the suspect too. You will be kept updated and you can continue to access support.

FAQs: Why do you need me to tell you what happened again?

We know how traumatic and upsetting an attack like this is and it is perfectly normal for people to remember more detail with time. We know what you told us when you first spoke us, but we need to record it formally and get some more information on certain points.

FAQs: Who do you need to contact as part of the investigation?

Anyone who we feel can offer information and evidence in support of the investigation.

FAQs: Where can I find support services?

Further down this page there is a list attached but you can also be referred by your Crisis Worker or ISVA who will discuss what will best suit you and your needs.

FAQs: Can I receive therapy?

Yes, you can, but if the investigation ends up at Court, we have to let the CPS know that you have received it. It is important for you to get any help you need as soon as you need it rather than wait until the investigation is over.

At this point, it may feel like things slow down. We will aim to build a case against the suspect which may take some time, but you will be kept updated. If there is enough evidence, we may consult the Crown Prosecution Service and ask them to assess the evidence too. Whatever the outcome, the investigation will normally be completed.

FAQs: What will need to be disclosed?

Anything we think is relevant to the case

FAQs: Will I have to go to court?

If the suspect is charged it would be very likely. We have special measures that can be considered, which are things put in place to help you give better evidence. You will be able to visit the Court before the trial and have a look around. You will be continually supported before and during a trial.

Once the investigation has been completed a decision will now be made about whether there is enough evidence for the offender to go to court and face a trial. Whatever the outcome, we and other agencies will support you throughout this process.

A successful trial may result in the offender receiving a sentence from the court, and probation can continue to manage this person with conditions even once they are released. However, even if the trial is unsuccessful, you can continue to access specialist support for as long as you need it.

Why do you need all my personal records?

This is another area that must seem really personal and unnecessary. We will only look to access personal records information and records that could be relevant to the case and we often find nothing. This removes potential arguments from the defence if they look to undermine our investigation.

How long does it take to complete the investigation?

There is no set time, but it will be months rather than weeks. We can promise that you will be kept up to date and supported throughout.

What services can support me throughout the process? 

The Blue Door:
Helpline: 0800 197 4787
Website: www.thebluedoor.org
Email: info@thebluedoor.org

Hull Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Service:
Helpline: 01482 329990
Website: www.hullrapecrisis.org
Email: hullrapecrisis@hullrapecrisis.karoo.co.uk

Victim Support:
Helpline: 0300 303 1976
Out of hours support line: 08 08 16 89 111
Website: www.victimsupport.org.uk
Request Support link: www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/request-support

Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership (DAP):
Helpline: 01482 318759
Website: www.hulldap.com

Women’s Aid:
Helpline: 0800 048 9944
Website: www.womensaid.org.uk
Email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk

Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership (DVAP):
Helpline: 01482 396368
Website: www.eastriding.gov.uk/living/crime-and-community-safety/domestic-violence/
Email: DVAP@eastriding.gov.uk

Galop (LGBTQ+) – previously Broken Rainbow:
Helpline: 0800 999 5248
Website: www.galop.org.uk
Email: help@galop.org.uk

Andy’s Man Club:
Website: www.andysmanclub.co.uk
Email: info@andysmanclub.co.uk

Samaritans:
Helpline: 116 123
Website: www.samaritans.org
Email: jo@samaritans.org

Hull Sisters:
Helpline: 07539 321502
Website: www.hullsisters.org
Email: sisters@hullsisters.org

Corner House (Hull):
Helpline: 01482 327044
Website: www.wearecornerhouse.org
Email: admin@wearecornerhouse.org

Hull DAP Male Victim Support:
Helpline: 01482 613978
Website: www.hulldap.com/support/male-victims/

CASA Centre (Care After Sexual Assault):
Helpline: 0330 223 0181
Helpline: 01482 305037 (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)
Website: www.casasuite.org
Email: casasuite.sarc@nhs.net

Childline:
Helpline: 0800 1111
Website: www.childline.org.uk

Respect:
Helpline: 0808 802 4040
Website: www.respect.uk.net
Email: info@respectphoneline.org.uk
Men’s Helpline: 0808 801 0327
Men’s Advice Email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk

Hull Lighthouse:
Helpline: 01482 442953
Website: www.hulllighthouse.co.uk
Email: lighthouse@community-house.co.uk

How long does the whole process take?

There is no set time, but it will be months rather than weeks. We can promise that you will be kept up to date and supported throughout.

Why does it take so long?

There are lots of factors which take time. These could be include forensic and medical information, digital information (social media etc.), chasing witnesses and preparing the case file. Many aspects are out of our direct control, but we can assure you that we do everything we can to progress things and you will be kept up to date and supported throughout.

Will people find out about this?

There will be those who we speak to as potential witnesses, and we will have to tell them who you are to see if they can give information about the case. The suspect will also have to be told your name when they are interviewed about what you’ve reported. We do sometimes see friends putting entries on social media thinking they are helping which we have no control over, and local gossip is possible. It is important to remember that you are the victim and have done nothing wrong. It is against the law for anyone to publish your name or details that might identify you (including on social media), as those who report sexual offences have anonymity for life.

Can I talk to my friends and family about the case?

It’s very important that you don’t discuss what you, or anyone else, has told us (the police). This is to protect the integrity of the evidence. You can tell your friends and family how you’re feeling so they can support you.

Will this be in the news?

Courts are open to the public and there may be a reporter present, or they may read the result in court papers later. This means the court case may be reported. The police have no control over this, but the media are not allowed to publish your name or anything that might identify you. Sometimes we may put out a press release about a case where it is thought to be in the public interest (e.g. seeking witnesses or other potential victims), but again, you cannot be named in it.

Do I have to tell my parents?

If you’re under 18 – Yes. If you’re over 18 – No; but parents and family are often the best source of support.

My child has reported a sexual offence – is there any support for them?

Different support is available for different ages. Contact social care (sometimes called social services) in your area or speak to the investigating officer as they will know what resources are available.

Why does nobody get charged?

We do charge offenders, although admittedly a small number. We are determined to bring more offenders to justice and will do everything in our power to do so in this case.