When people witness or experience a crime and if they choose to report it, they meet professionals working in the criminal justice system of the country where the crime was committed. Most frequently, victims will interact with police officers, but may also have contact with judges, prosecutors, magistrates, court staff, etc.
Those working in the criminal justice system are aware that victims of crime have rights, which are guaranteed both by national and EU-wide legislation, such as the Victims’ Rights Directive 2012/29/EU. However, outwith these legal rights, professionals should be aware of other factors that can significantly affect victims’ experience with the criminal justice system and its impact on their future. It is not uncommon that, in practice, victims’ rights are not upheld due to lack of knowledge or resources on the part of those assisting the victims.
This page aims to provide professionals with useful information and practical advice on how to ensure victims of crime are treated appropriately.