Being the Victim of Crime
Being the victim of crime can be very distressing and it is normal to feel upset. The guidance on this page is designed to give you the knowledge you need to decide what to go next. It covers where to get support and how to report this to the University, police or local authority.
You may also be able to claim compensation in some cases (discussed below).
Reporting crime to the authorities
If you have been the victim of crime it is important to report this as soon as you can to the Police who can investigate the offence and advise you on other areas of support.
You should only use 999 in an emergency. It might be an emergency if;
- A crime is in progress or has just happened
- Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
- When there is a danger to life
- When violence is being threatened or used.
Every year the police receive lots of calls which are not classed as emergencies, and there are lots of ways that you can report a crime to the police.
You should call the police on the non-emergency number 101 if:
- A crime in not in progress, or has not just happened
- If there is no threat to a person’s safety
If you are reporting a crime in the South Wales Police Area, then you can complete their online form by clicking here. The report will be reviewed by the police and actioned accordingly within 8 hours of submission.
If you would prefer to report criminal activity anonymously, then you can do this through the Crimestopper’s website.
Some types of crime should be reported to specialist agencies. You can report these using the links below;
There are also student police liaison officers who work with the University, Students’ Union, Local authority and volunteer groups to detect and prevent crime which can affect our students. You should however not report individual crimes to these officers and instead use the details above.
If you would like to contact these officers, then you can find their contact details on the Useful contacts part of our webpage.
Your Rights when Reporting a Crime
If you are reporting a crime to the police, you have certain rights which are set out in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.
This details your rights to;
- Assessments for support,
- Enhanced support for certain types of crimes
- A written acknowledgement that you reported a crime
- Referral to support agencies
- Be informed about the police investigation
- Be informed if you need to give evidence in court
- Apply for compensation under the criminal injuries compensation scheme
There is also a code for the standards of care for witnesses, called The Witness Charter. If you feel that there has been a failure in any of the abocve areas, you can contact us or Citizens Advice for further guidance.
You may be able to claim compensation if you;
- Are the victim of a crime.
- Are a close relative of someone who has died because of a crime.
- Witnessed a serious crime, intervened and were injured.
There is a time limit for claiming certain types of compensation. We advise that you act as soon as you are able to, and get advice on this issue as it can be complex.
You can read more about this on the Ministry of Justice webpage.
There is also guidance on the Gov.UK Webpage on claiming compensation for certain types of crimes.
Student Advice is a free, confidential and independent service available for students of Cardiff University. We are independent of the University and our role is to give you impartial advice and guidance and help you understand the options available to you.
If your circumstances are impacting your wellbeing and/or ability to study and perform at your usual level, we can:
- advise you on how to report Extenuating Circumstances to the University;
- advise you on how to submit and Academic Appeal if you have missed the Extenuating Circumstances deadline, or you circumstances have been refused;
- advise you on how to take an Interruption of Study and what you need to think about when deciding what to do;
- advise you on how to submit a University Complaint if you feel you are being unfairly treated or discriminated against because of your circumstances;
- signpost you to other support services.
If you are facing adverse financial difficulties as a result of a crime, such as fraud or theft, then you may be able to get financial help from the University.
Counselling and Wellbeing
The University's Counselling and Wellbeing Team offer support if you are experiencing personal, emotional or psychological difficulties, including as a result of being the victim of crime.
You can contact the Counselling & Wellbeing Team;
If you would like to refer yourself for counselling with the Counselling and Wellbeing Team, you will need to complete the brief self-referral form to request online support.
Disclosure Response Team
The Disclosure Response Team are a team of specialist University staff trained to respond to disclosures of violence and abuse. They support students affected by harassment, hate crime, sexual violence, relationship abuse and other forms of unacceptable behaviour.
If you believe you are in immediate danger or you are concerned about your safety, learn how to access further help and keep yourself safe. There is also detailed information available through this link on what to do if you have been sexually assaulted.
How the Disclosure Response Team can help
The Disclosure Response Team offer you practical support, including:
- support to manage ongoing safety concerns
- contact face to face, via phone or online, to talk about your experience and all the options of support available
- practical advice on housing, financial and academic needs
- support if the person who has been violent/abusive lives or studies with you
- signposting to specialist support agencies.
To access this support, make an identified disclosure using the online disclosure form to make an identified or anonymous disclosure.
The Disclosure Response Team aim to respond to all disclosures within two working days, within the hours of 09:00-16:00, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
They understand that it can be difficult to trust other people to tell them what has happened. Some common worries about sharing these experiences include:
- what if no one believes me?
- what if I’m judged?
- what has happened to me is not that bad
- the person who is responsible is someone I know.
It is your choice whether you tell someone about your experiences. However, it is important to know that the University can support you.
The Disclosure Response Team take all disclosures seriously and will believe what you tell them.
What will happen next
A member of the Disclosure Response Team will contact you to offer an appointment to provide advice and guidance. They will explain the different support and reporting options available, and can refer you to specialist services, if you choose.
If you decide to disclose your experience of violence or abuse you can remain anonymous or you can choose to identify yourself so the Disclosure Response Team can contact you and offer support.
If you choose to submit an anonymised disclosure, the Team will be unable to take action in response to the information you share. However, they can use the information to look at trends of incidents taking place on and off campus, which helps inform how they educate students and helps them to take precautions to increase student safety.
There is further specialist sources of support discussed on our page on relationships and sexual abuse page.
Download the Safezone app
Cardiff University provides all students with access to a SafeZone app, where you can contact University Security directly by sharing your location and communicating quickly via text message. If you feel unsafe anywhere on campus, you can use the SafeZone app to report this and seek immediate assistance. It will also show you where you are on campus in a variety of formats.
External Sources of Support
Victim Support is an independent charity in England and Wales which offers emotional and practical support to the victims of crime.
There is also a government website set up to help victims of crime called Victim and Witness information. On this site you can read specialist advice for specific crimes, such as hate crimes, sexual violence, stalking and harassment and much more.
If you are the victim of a violent or sexual crime, where the perpetrator is sentenced to 12 months or more, then you will also be offered to join the Victim Contact Scheme. This scheme may also give you the opportunity to take part in restorative justice, and keep you updated with changes in sentencing, license conditions and other support.
Police Student Volunteers
If you would like to proactive role in keeping other students safe, then you might consider joining the Police Student Volunteers.
These volunteers help with campaigns and go on patrol with South Wales Police.
You can read more about them on the Cardiff University Intranet, including how to join.
Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410