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Policy

Victims and witnesses

Providing more help and support for victims and witnesses is key to building a better criminal justice system.

We are working with the justice organisations to help victims and witnesses feel supported, safe and informed at every stage of the process.

Actions

The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a number of measures to improve support for victims and witnesses.

As part of the commitments made in our plan: Justice in Scotland: vision and priorities and the Programme for Government 2017 to 2018, we are working with justice partners and other organisations to build on this, by:

We also:

Background

Improvements brought in by the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 included:

  • the right for victims of certain crimes to specify the gender of their police interviewer
  • the right for victims and witnesses to access information about the progress of their case
  • publication of service standards for victims and witnesses so they know what to expect from criminal justice agencies

Bills and legislation

The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 provides the Scottish Ministers with regulation-making powers to establish a statutory Appropriate Adult scheme.

The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced various measures to improve the support and information available to victims and witnesses of crime in Scotland.

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced a number of measures to protect the rights of victims and witnesses including a statutory scheme of witness anonymity orders.

The Vulnerable Witness (Scotland) Act 2004 aims to improve conditions for vulnerable witnesses by increasing the number of support measures available to help them participate more fully in criminal and any civil court proceedings.

Contact

Email: Central Enquiries Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000

Post:
Victims and Witnesses Unit
The Scottish Government
GWR
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG