Code of Practice for Victims of Crime ('the Victims' Code') (VCOP)

A statutory code of practice issued by the Secretary of State for Justice under section 32 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. The code establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. Its objective is to make sure that the criminal justice system puts victims first, therefore making the system more responsive to them and easier to navigate. It also aims to make sure that victims of crime are treated well and receive appropriate support to help them cope and recover, and to protect them from becoming victims again.

The Code specifies the services which must be provided to victims of crime in England and Wales, and sets a minimum for the standard of those services. Higher entitlements are set for victims of the most serious crime, persistently targeted victims, and vulnerable or intimidated victims. The public sector bodies which have to provide services to victims of crime are specified in the Code, and include police forces and police and crime commissioners. The Victims’ Commissioner has a statutory duty to regularly review the Code.

Back to Glossary