Community impact statements
A community impact statement allows a community to say how a crime has affected it when a case goes to court and a person pleads or is found guilty. It should be used for a critical incident which has a significant impact on a community and damages public confidence.
A community, for this purpose, is a group of people within an area who have been adversely affected by an incident, and are indirect victims of a particular crime.
A community impact statement should be completed by a community representative, preferably a member of an established organisation or body.
A community impact statement
It could be used for any critical incidents, linked to a specific crime that has been committed by a particular individual, where the community impact is significant. It is likely that the crime would have been reported in the media and there would have been a police investigation and court proceedings.
Information in the statement
The statement(s) should set out the harm caused and the impact on the community as an indirect victim. This could include social, financial, physical environment, economic or other specific impacts or concerns.
Information that should not be in the statement
The statement should not:
- describe the crime itself
- refer to any other (or alleged) offences
- give the community’s views on the defendant, any punishment or the potential sentence (the judge decides this)
The completed statement
The completed statement should be sent to the police. If the case goes to court, and the person is found or pleads guilty, the statement will then be seen by the defendant, their legal representative(s), the prosecutor and the judge. The statement will let the judge know how the crime has affected the community, before a sentence is passed.
Find out more about community impact statements, including the form itself and where it should be returned to, on the Department of Justice website.