The legal basis on which the police make referrals of personal information to Victim Support
The police make referrals to Victim Support that meet at least one of the following two conditions that are among the acceptable conditions for the lawful processing of personal information:
- Consent of the individual that the personal information is about, in which case Victim Support ensures there is evidence of the process by which the police obtain the consent and an agreement in writing that includes detail of that process.
- Legal obligation. The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code) presented to Parliament pursuant to section 33 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 sets out the services that a victim of crime should receive from the criminal justice agencies and a timeframe in relation to such services. This legislation creates a legal obligation for referral of victims of crime to victim support services. Under the Victims’ Code explicit consent for a referral is only required from victims of sexual offences or domestic violence, or bereaved close relatives, before sending their details to victim support services. For other crime types the police inform the victim of crime that their personal information is being provided to victim support services and the referral is made unless the individual the personal information is about asks not to be referred. Where this legal obligation is used by the police to make referrals to Victim Support, Victim Support ensures there is an agreement in writing that includes detail of the referral process and Victim Support completes spot checks to ensure that only referrals for applicable crime types are being received.
Where an individual asks not to be referred, the consequences are that the individual may not benefit or fully benefit from the services that are available to victims of crime. The individual can still choose to refer themselves at a later date.