VSS launches manifesto calling on next Scottish Parliament to put victims’ rights first

15 April, 2021

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021, Victim Support Scotland has launched its manifesto ‘Getting it right for victims of crime’ and is asking candidates from all parties to pledge to support the creation of a justice system that better serves everyone affected by crime in Scotland.

Victim Support Scotland’s manifesto has been shaped by 35 years’ experience of supporting people affected by crime, and their families, as well as the voices of victims and witnesses themselves, to set out a range of measures that could transform the justice system.

The manifesto sets out key asks which will:

1. Put victims’ voices at the front and centre of Scotland’s justice system.

2. Build a transformative ‘fit for purpose’ justice system that meets the needs a post-pandemic Scotland.

3. Provide stable funding for victims and support organisations.

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, said:  

“The next Scottish Parliament has a responsibility to get it right for victims of crime. Scotland’s own victims and witnesses legislation clearly has its roots in human rights law. However, it has become clear that this is not enough and more needs to be done.

“Victim Support Scotland’s manifesto therefore sets out a range of measures that have the potential to transform the justice system and victims’ rights in Scotland.”

Measures put forward in the manifesto include the creation of an independent Victims’ Commissioner and creation of a ‘single point of contact’ for the justice system to improve access to information, resources and support. The manifesto also seeks to ensure that there is consistent financial support available to people affected by crime through the Victims’ Fund.

The manifesto options are aimed at building a victim-centred justice system in Scotland over the course of the next Scottish Parliament and beyond.

We are asking MSP candidates to sign a pledge to commit to getting it right for victims of crime.