United KingdomCrimes

Impact Statement for Business is an assessment of impact on business due to crime


The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (the ‘Victims’ Code’) sets out the services that must be provided to victims of crime by criminal justice organisations in England and Wales.

Under the Victims’ Code, all businesses or enterprises (such as charities) that have had criminal offences committed against them are entitled to make an Impact Statement for Business (ISB) to set out how the offence(s) have affected the business. This document provides additional guidance for businesses that wish to make an ISB.

An ISB is intended to provide businesses that have had criminal offences committed against them with a voice in the criminal justice process. Where it considers it appropriate, the court can take account of the ISB when it decides what sentence to impose on the offender(s). Sentencing decisions remain the responsibility of the court.

An ISB should not express an opinion on the sentence or punishment the offender should receive.

The process

An ISB may be made at the same time as a witness statement or Victim Personal Statement (if applicable) or made at a later date by completing an ISB form and sending this to the police contact.

An ISB may be made at any point, however, you should be aware that if you choose not to make a statement when initially offered, you may not have another opportunity to make one later on. This is because the case may be dealt with by the courts very quickly.

In more complex cases, which may take longer to be dealt with by the courts, you may wish to take more time to collect relevant information, for example, accounts or other business documents. The police will be in touch to let you know the date of the first hearing date and at that stage, you will need to make or update your ISB. Once a statement is made it cannot be changed, but you can make additional or supplementary statements if new information comes to light.

An individual (a ‘natural person’) must give the ISB on behalf of the business. That person is the ‘nominated representative’ and must be properly authorised by the business to make the ISB.

Often the nominated person will be a Director, manager or owner of the business. The person making the ISB does not have to have witnessed the crime.

The ISB must be made honestly: you may be asked to evidence any claims made. It is a criminal offence in itself to knowingly sign a false ISB.

The Code states that any statement submitted must be in accordance with section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, which includes a number of conditions that must be satisfied (where applicable) for written evidence to be admissible. Those conditions include that:

  • the statement has to be signed by the person who made it
  • the statement contains a declaration by that person to the effect that it is true to the best of their knowledge and belief they would be liable to prosecution if they wilfully stated in it anything which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true.

The police are responsible for forwarding a completed copy of the ISB to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Where appropriate, the CPS will bring the ISB to the court’s attention.

If the case reaches court, the ISB will be disclosed to the defence. In some cases, the nominated representative who made the statement may be asked to attend a court hearing and be questioned on this statement.

The nominated person can indicate whether they wish to have all or part of the ISB read out in court by a CPS advocate, subject to the discretion of the court. The nominated person may be asked to answer questions about the contents of the ISB in court.

What information should I include?

The Impact Statement for Business is your opportunity to tell the court about the impact a crime has had on your business. That will differ depending on the circumstances of the individual case, so try to think carefully about exactly how your business has been affected by the crime.

You do not have to limit the information to the direct cost of the crime (e.g. the value of any goods stolen), you can also provide information on the wider costs and impact on your business (e.g. staff morale, reputational damage etc).

You should not include information about how other offences have affected your business unless those crimes are part of a pattern of repeat offending by the same criminal or an organised gang.

You should not give your opinion on or make a recommendation about what sentence the court should impose.

Do I need to use technical/legal language?

No. You should set out the impact on your business clearly and in your own words. The court is likely to find clear and straightforward language the most helpful, so try to avoid jargon or unnecessary technical terms.

How long should it be?

There is no maximum or minimum length for an ISB. Try to include all the relevant impacts on your business whilst remaining as succinct as possible. Providing a lengthy or repetitive statement will not make your ISB more persuasive.

Can I make a witness statement and an ISB? What is the difference?

Yes, provided this is appropriate in the circumstances, as the documents have different functions.

A witness statement allows a witness to give evidence to the court about the circumstances and nature of a crime. This will be used by the court to establish whether a crime was committed and by whom. When sentencing a person found ‘guilty’ of that crime, an ISB enables a business to set out the impact a crime has had on the business and this will be considered by the court when determining the appropriate sentence for the crime.

For example, a Chief Executive who witnessed a robbery at their business could make both a witness statement setting out what they saw and heard during the robbery and an ISB setting out the impact the robbery had on the business.

However, the person making the ISB does not have to have seen the crime happen.

Can I make an ISB and a Victim Personal Statement? What is the difference?

Yes, provided this is appropriate in the circumstances, as the documents have different functions.

A Victim Personal Statement is a statement that a victim of crime (who must be an actual person rather than an organisation) can give to the police (or any organisation assigned by the police to take the statement on their behalf). It enables victims to tell the criminal justice system about the crime they have suffered and the impact it has had on them, whether physically, emotionally, psychologically or in any other way. An ISB enables a business to set out the impact a crime has had on the business.

More information about Victim Personal Statements

For example, a Chief Executive who was injured during a robbery could provide a Victim Personal Statement giving details of their injuries and any other impact the robbery had on them personally; and could also provide an ISB which sets out how the crime affected their business.

Which businesses can make an ISB?

Any business or enterprise, irrespective of its size or structure, can make an ISB. This includes charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

Who should complete the ISB?

An individual (a ‘natural person’) must give the ISB on behalf of the business. That person is the ‘nominated representative’ and must be properly authorised by the business to make the ISB. Often the nominated person will be a Director, manager or owner of the business. That person may be asked to answer questions about the ISB in court.

The person making the ISB does not have to have witnessed the crime.

Will the ISB be read out in court?

The nominated person can indicate whether they wish to have all or part of the ISB read out in court by a CPS advocate, subject to the discretion of the court. The nominated person may be required to attend a court hearing and be questioned on this statement.


Categories: Crimes

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