Date lodged: 1 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that the Victims' Code for Scotland is communicated to and shared with victims of crime.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 14 March 2018
The Victims Code is available online and in hard copy in a range of languages and formats, with additional languages also available on request. We are also developing an easy read version, which will be available by Summer 2018.
As required by section 3C of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, Police Scotland are responsible for informing victims of how to access the Victims' Code. Where the victim does not have access to the internet, the victim may request a copy of the Code. This is reflected in Police Scotland’s published Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses which state ‘We will ensure that you receive a Victims’ Care Card if you are a victim of crime which provides 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’.
Scottish Ministers, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, the Scottish Prison Service and the Parole Board Scotland are also required under the same legislation to provide access to the Code on request. These organisations will also routinely draw victims’ attention to the Code if it appears they are not already aware of it.
Victim support organisations, such as Victim Support Scotland, also play an important role in ensuring victims are aware of the Code and its contents.