Right of Review Schemes

Date published: 25 September 2023 06:25

Police Right of Review Scheme

The Victims' Right to Review (VRR) Scheme gives victims the right to ask for a review of a police decision not to charge a suspect.

VRR applies to cases where a suspect has been identified and interviewed under caution. This happens either after they’ve been arrested or because they’ve volunteered to be interviewed.

Cases you can ask to be reviewed

You have the right to request a review if the police decide:

not to charge someone


where the police decide that the case doesn’t meet the test for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide to charge someone

VRR only applies where the decision is made not to charge or not to pass the case to the CPS to make a decision to charge someone.

It doesn’t cover decisions on whether a crime is recorded or whether an investigation into a crime can continue. If the CPS decides not to charge someone, their website explains what you can do.

Cases that can’t be reviewed

VRR doesn’t apply to cases where:

  • a suspect hasn’t been identified and interviewed
  • only some of the charges are brought against some of the suspects
  • a positive decision has been made about someone else in connection with the incident. This could include a range of outcomes. For example, community resolutions or a caution, through to charge and a court appearance
  • the suspect is charged with a different crime from the one that was recorded and complained about by the victim. For example, the suspect is charged with common assault but an offence of actual bodily harm was recorded
  • an out of court disposal has been given, for example, caution, a conditional caution or community resolution
  • the victim withdraws their complaint, or refuses to cooperate with the investigation, so police decide not to charge or to refer the case to the CPS

Sometimes an investigation into an offence is ongoing, so even though police have made a decision on whether to charge someone, a VRR consideration may be postponed until the investigation is complete.

The scheme applies to any decision made on or after 1 April 2015.

If your request to review relates to the CPS VRR scheme, you can request a review on a decision made on or after 5 June 2013. As this is a CPS scheme, the right to review lies with them. Visit the CPS website for more information.

Who can ask for a review and when

You must request a review within three months of the decision not to charge.

If the case qualifies under the scheme, any victim of a crime can request a review of the case.

Other people can apply on behalf of a victim. These include:

  • close relatives of someone who has died as a result of a crime
  • the parent or guardian of a victim who is under the age of 18
  • someone who is representing a victim who has a disability or who has ​been badly injured as the result of a crime which means they can’t represent themselves
  • a business

You can ask someone to act on your behalf, such as a solicitor or Member of Parliament (MP). If you do, we will need written confirmation that they have permission to act on your behalf.

How to apply for VRR

Where you feel that you meet the above criteria, you can apply via email to Police_VRRS@southyorks.pnn.police.uk or in writing to:

South Yorkshire Police Criminal Justice Unit
4th Floor
Snig Hill
S3 8LY

Requests will then be reviewed to ensure they meet with the qualifying criteria and confirmation of receipt, progression or otherwise, will be sent to you. Any requests will be dealt within 30 working days.