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.
- We will consider your particular needs to decide whether you are a vulnerable witness. We will then, with our partners, try to ensure your needs are met.
What has happened during the year from April 2015 to April 2016?
We have implemented changes within our organisation as a result of the Victims' Rights (Scotland) Regulations 2015. These changes have affected our service to you, and, as such, we have developed a further standard of service:
- 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 Victim’s Code.
We have prepared a below 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, so you can see how we have performed against these standards over the past year.
You can also see any changes we intend to make and why. You can view this, and the original standards of service document below.