Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses

Working together in partnership, we, along with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Scottish Prison Service and the Parole Board for Scotland, established standards of service for victims and witnesses in April 2015. 

We want to make it clear that those affected by crime are at the heart of the Scottish justice system.

The people who are affected by crime and involved in criminal proceedings should know that the criminal justice system is there for them and we want to make sure that their voice is heard.

The principles that victims and witnesses can look to are clear - they have the right to information about their case, their safety should be ensured, they should be supported and that they should be able to participate effectively.

Being a victim of crime, or witnessing a crime, can be a very upsetting and difficult experience. We appreciate this, and we have the following joint standards:

  • Ensure you have fair and equal access to services throughout and are treated with dignity and respect at all times regardless of background, age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, nationality, religion, belief or sexual orientation. Where required, additional support will be provided and any reasonable adjustments made to ensure that you have access to information and support services;
  • Work together and in partnership with victim and witness support organisations to ensure you are provided with the best service possible; and
  • We will each ensure that we comply with our respective Complaints Policies details of which are found on the following pages.

We also have standards of service specific to us and the service we provide you:

  • We will discuss with you how you will be kept informed of progress in your case; we will also explain how we will deal with your case and what we may ask you to do to help us.
  • If you are a victim or witness, a person who has given a statement in relation to a crime, or a family member of a victim who has died as a result of a crime, you can make a request for information. When we receive your application, we will respond within 40 days.
  • If you are a victim of one of these crimes you will have the option to let officers know whether you want a male or female officer to interview you. We will try to meet your request wherever possible.
  • To assess your vulnerability as a witness, we will consider, with or partners, your particular needs, and thereafter try to ensure those needs are met. 
  • We will ensure you receive a Victim’s Care Card if you are a victim of crime, this will provide you with the details of your enquiry officer, the crime you report and information on how you can access victim support and the Scottish Government’s Victims’ Code. 

What has happened during the year April 2016 to April 2017?

We have made significant changes to improve our processes and procedures in relation to our commitment to providing a high standard of care to victims and witnesses during their contact with the police. We recognise we require monitoring the effectiveness of these changes which will be reflected upon within the Victims and Witnesses Standards of Service Annual Report 2017 / 18.

We have prepared, in partnership with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Scottish Prison Service and the Parole Board for Scotland, the Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses Annual Report on performance 2016-2017, so you can see the changes we have made and how we have performed against our standards of service over the past year.

You can view this, and the original standards of service document by below. Click here for a Word version of the Standards of Service Report 2017-18

Related Documents

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