Every year thousands of individuals become victims of crime, bringing them into contact with the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System. As a victim, you should receive a minimum set of entitlements, outlined in the Northern Ireland Victim Charter. If you do not receive these entitlements or are unhappy with how you have been treated, you can make a complaint. The video below will explain how we can help you with this process.
Complain about criminal justice agencies or members of the legal profession
You are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect by all the service providers that give support and services to victims under the Victim Charter. Where this is not the case or where the services you are entitled to under the Charter are not provided, you are entitled to have the service provider look into the matter.
The Commissioner Designate has a role in monitoring the response victims receive to their complaints. She is keen for victims to copy her into any complaints they make and ask for her to copied into the responses received. If you unsure of how to make a complaint or which agency your complaint is about, please feel free to contact us.
We have published a booklet called "Complain for Change - How to complain about your exprience as a vicitm of crime". This booklet will provide you with information on how to make a complaint about criminal justice agencies or members of the legal profession. You can download the booklet by clicking here.
The flowchart below outlines steps to take when making a complaint. A narrative text version of this information is provided below this.
Have you already contacted the Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) about your complaint?
YES: If you have yet to receive a response, check their response timeframe and if they are outside this, you should chase them up for a response. If you have already tried this and they have still not responded, please get in touch and let us know.
If you have received a response and are content with this, that’s great! Feel free to share your experience with us by phone or online via our ‘Have Your Say’ page on our website.
If you have received a response and are not content, there should be an option to appeal the response. If you follow this and are still not satisfied, please feel free to contact us to see if there if there is anything further we can suggest.
NO: If you would like advice on who to make your complaint to and what information to include, please give us a call on 028 9052 6607 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries about the complaints process. You can also share your experience with us by phone or online via our ‘Have Your Say’ page on our website.
Complain about the Commission for Victims of Crime
The Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime is committed to providing a high quality service to victims and all other stakeholders. Your complaint or general feedback will help us see where we could do better which will help us to improve. If you found our response unsatisfactory or unacceptable or would like to give us general feedback about our service please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Contact Us
This is an informal step and may help us to resolve the problem immediately if we can. The best way to do this is to call our office on 028 9052 6607 or email us at email@example.com. We will try to resolve your issue immediately but if we can’t we will take a record of your concern or feedback and agree if and when we will get back to you.
Step 2: Make a formal complaint
If you are still unhappy we encourage you to put your complaint in writing marked for the attention of our Complaints Officer outlining your concerns and what would you feel would put things right. If you rather not submit a letter, you can call us on the number below and ask the member of staff to record your complaint. The individual should note your concern, read it back to you and then email or post you a copy for your reference. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and aim to provide you with a full response within a maximum of four weeks.
Step 3: Appeal
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, you can ask for it to be referred to the Commissioner Designate for review. The Commissioner Designate will be passed all information and will acknowledge your complaint and aim to provide a response within 10 working days.
If your complaint relates directly to the Commissioner Designate, you should contact the Department of Justice: Governance.Unit@justice-ni.gov.uk
Your complaint will be considered by the Director of Access to Justice. Any appeal against their decision should be directed to the same email address and will be considered by another suitably qualified members of the Senior Civil Service.