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Victims' code

Published: 22 Feb 2016 13:30
Part of:
Law and order

Landmark guidance will help victims of crime get the support they need.

A new Victims' Code for Scotland which clearly and simply sets out the rights of victims in one place, has been launched today.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Paul Wheelhouse marked European Day for Victims of Crime by launching the code which aims to improve victims' experience of the criminal justice system. The Code sets out the rights of victims of crime, such as the right to interpretation and translation and information about the release of offenders.

At the Children 1st base in Selkirk, Mr Wheelhouse said:

"Anyone who has been a victim of crime should have confidence that they will receive the right support and advice through the criminal justice process, which is why we have introduced the Victims' Code for Scotland.

"We have long recognised the need to provide the right help, information and support to those affected by crime as this plays a key part in a modern justice system that is fair, accessible and efficient for all. This government has already introduced a range of measures to ensure that those who rely on our justice system have confidence that their voices will be heard.

"This new Victims' Code for Scotland will build on the progress already made by clearly and simply setting out the rights of victims in one place. By ensuring their interests remain at the heart of the criminal justice system we can help victims continue to feel supported and informed at every stage of the process.

"I am particularly pleased to be able to be here, in Selkirk, to officially launch the Code today on European Victims' of Crime day.

"As well as making practical improvements in Scotland, measures such as the Victims' Rights Directive help demonstrate that the EU is not simply about economic union but also about solidarity, social protection and mutual support."

Anna O'Reilly, Children 1st Assistant Director for Scottish Borders said:

"Our base in Selkirk is an ideal place to launch the Victims' Code as from it we support children and families whose lives have been scarred by abuse and a critical part of that work is ensuring they aren't traumatised further by the process of bringing the perpetrator of their abuse to justice.

"The Victims' Code will make a difference to the children and families we help. We also welcome the Scottish Government's commitment to publishing a child friendly version of the code in the near future."

Notes to editors

The Victims' Code for Scotland can be accessed in English and other languages online at:

Significant new measures to improve the rights for Victims and Witnesses were brought in to force through the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014:

The Victims' Rights (Scotland) Regulations 2015 completed Scotland's transposition of the EU Victims' Rights Directive.