Victim Support Scotland CEO comments on review of Victim Notification Scheme

31 March, 2022

It has been announced by the Scottish Government that an independent review of the Victim Notification Scheme will commence in April.

The review will be led by Alastair MacDonald, former Chair of Victim Support Scotland. The scheme enables victims to receive certain information about the release of a prisoner – with the review considering possible improvements to ensure it is serving victims effectively.

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

“While we welcome the announcement of the independent review of the Victim Notification Scheme commencing this April, we believe this development is long overdue.

“The Victim Notification Scheme – which entitles people impacted by crime to receive information about the offender and their whereabouts – has long been seen as an outdated and archaic system that needs overhauled. We have heard of too many instances where victims have received letters about release of offenders with no prior warning and no offer of support. This can be traumatising.

“The review must consider the impact that communication has with people affected by crime, and give choice and control back to them in terms of how they receive information. We also believe that the Victim Notification Scheme should be more widely available than it currently is, with more transparency about the process and packages of support available to prevent further traumatisation.

“I look forward to working with Alastair MacDonald and colleagues at the Scottish Government on this review with the aim of developing a more fit-for-purpose Victim Notification Scheme for Scotland.”