The National Probation Service has a statutory responsibility to contact victims of serious sexual and violent offences where the offender receives a minimum of 12 months imprisonment or certain disposals under mental health legislation.
In some cases the Victim Liaison Service is also able to accept discretionary cases where the offender is being managed by the London Community Rehabilitation Company.
On release, offenders who fit the criteria above, are subject to a period of supervision on licence, monitored by the probation service.
They must adhere to specified conditions and victims can request extra conditions that relate specifically to them, such as a non contact-order or an exclusion zone from a particular area during the supervision period.
The National Probation Service is required to contact victims within 40 working days of the sentence being imposed and to offer a meeting or on-going contact with a dedicated Victim Liaison Officer in their initial letter.
The Victim Liaison Officer will give information on:
- Their role and the Probation Service in general
- The opportunity for the victim or next of kin to give their views on proposed conditions surrounding the offender’s release
- The offender’s progress through the prison system at key stages of the sentence
- Any concerns the victim or next of kin may have at each stage
- Any conditions of release which relate to contact with the victim
- Any special victim protection arrangements which are proposed and seek their agreement to them.
The Victim Liaison Officer will also explain:
- The implications of the offender being on licence and the implications of breach
- How information received from the victim or their family relating to breaches of release conditions would be dealt with
- Function, extent and limits regarding confidentiality.
If you have been a victim of a serious sexual or violent crime please go to Information for Victims.