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UK victims

Interactive decision tree

Interactive decision tree

Please use our interactive tool to understand more about the criminal and civil justice systems and how the two systems can interact. It outlines the main steps, and has been specifically created with the individuals and smaller business victim in mind.

Please carefully read about the main differences between the criminal and civil justice systems before using the decision tree.

Criminal: private prosecution


In order to bring a prosecution a body of evidence will have to be gathered. This involves interviewing potential witnesses, taking witness statements, gathering documentary evidence, investigating additional leads and so forth.

In small cases this may be managed by the law firm. In larger cases a separate private investigation team will be needed.

As a victim, you will be required to provide a witness statement setting out your account of the facts.

At this stage, it is possible to give all the evidence which has been gathered to the police, who may then proceed to a normal public prosecution.