A victim has the right to ask for a review of a decision not to prosecute a suspect.

Qualifying cases

Police Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) will only apply when a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution, either after arrest or voluntarily. An interview in this sense relates to situations where the allegation is put to the suspect in detail, not limited questioning that might take place immediately after an incident, for instance during a stop and search.

Police VRR will only apply to decisions that were made on or after April 1, 2015. 

The following cases DO NOT fall within the scope of police VRR:

  1. Where no suspect has been identified and interviewed.
  2. Where charges are brought in respect of some, but not all, allegations made or against some, but not all, possible suspects.
  3. Where the offence charge differs from the crime that was recorded, but relates to the matter reported by the victim. For example if the suspect is charged with common assault, but an offence of actual bodily harm was recorded.
  4. Where a case ends with an out of court disposal.
  5. When the victim retracts their complaint or refuses to co-operate with the investigation and a decision is taken not to charge or not to refer the case to the CPS for a charging decision.

VRR relates to decisions not to prosecute and does not cover crime recording decisions or decisions not to continue with enquiries.

Who can apply?

Any victim in a qualifying case where a decision is made not to prosecute can seek a review of that decision.

A victim is defined in The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2013 (Victims’ Code) as ‘a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct’.

This includes:

  • Close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct;
  • Parents or guardians where the main victim is a child or youth under 18;
  • Police officers who are victims of crime;
  • Family spokespersons of victims with a disability or who are so badly injured that they cannot communicate; and
  • Businesses, providing they give a named point of contact.

You can request a review online by submitting this form

By email, detailing the victim’s name, suspect’s name (if known), offence and case reference number, to victimsreview@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk

In writing to:

Victims Right to Review
Criminal Justice Department 
Dyfed Powys Police 
P O Box 99 
SA31 2PF

When a victim requests a review of a decision it should be acknowledged within 10 working days.

Victims should be allowed to request a review within three months of being notified of the case being filed, as this is the period during which they can request a judicial review.

Forces should, wherever possible, complete the review and communicate the decision to the victim within an overall timeframe of 30 working days (i.e. six weeks from receipt of the request from the victim).

Where the case is particularly complex or sensitive, it may not be possible to provide a VRR decision within the usual time limits. In such cases, forces should notify the victim accordingly and provide regular updates on the progress of the review.

There are six potential outcomes:

  1. The original decision to take no further action is upheld;
  2. The original decision is overturned and proceedings are commenced against the suspect, i.e. they are charged or summonsed;
  3. The original decision is overturned and the suspect is dealt with by an out of court disposal;
  4. The original decision is overturned and the case is referred to the CPS for a charging decision;
  5. It is determined that further enquires need to be completed before the reviewing officer can make their decision;
  6. The original decision is overturned but the case is no longer legally enforceable due to a time limit having been exceeded.

A victim who is still unhappy with the outcome of the police review and wishes to pursue the matter further can apply to the High Court for a judicial review.

It is possible that a victim could appeal a police decision not to prosecute resulting in that decision being overturned and the matter being referred to the CPS for a charging decision.  The CPS could then decide to take no further action and the victim would then be entitled to ask for a review of the CPS decision under the CPS VRR scheme and ultimately to refer the matter for a judicial review.