Victim Support Scotland partners with Tayside Police to launch pilot

12 July, 2023

Victim Support Scotland partners with Tayside Police to launch pilot to support more people affected by crime

Victim Support Scotland and Tayside Police will today be launching a pilot aimed at increasing emotional and practical support for people affected by crime throughout Tayside, Dundee, Forfar and Perth and Kinross.

The pilot, which builds on the strong partnership between the organisations, will see police officers making more victims of crime aware of the support they are entitled to.

Victim Support Scotland is an independent charity that offers emotional, financial, and practical support for anyone who may be affected by crime, with police looking to refer more people who may need services or support.

The support offered includes community safety checks, financial assistance following crime, and support when giving evidence in court.

Research has shown that many members of the public are not aware of their right to support services following a crime despite this being a fundamental part of Scotland’s Victims’ Code, which ensures Police Scotland continue to meet key standards of service.

The pilot aims to increase awareness of services offered by Victim Support Scotland as well as public confidence in the police and the justice system in Tayside. If successful, it is hoped that this will be rolled out across Scotland, thereby increasing support for all communities.

Neil McIntosh, Director of Service Delivery at Victim Support Scotland said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Tayside Police in this pilot to increase referrals for people affected by crime.

“At Victim Support Scotland, we offer emotional and practical support to anyone who may be affected by crime. We support victims, witnesses, and their families throughout the community and in court, with people affected by crime also having access to our Emergency Assistance Fund if they find themselves in need of immediate financial support in the aftermath of crime.

“As one of our main partners, we continue to work closely with Police Scotland throughout Scotland to ensure people affected by crime are getting the right support, offered at the right time and delivered in a way that suits them. All victims of crime are entitled to support, and this pilot is a key part of ensuring the standards of service are met and maintained.”

“We are confident that this pilot will help us reach more victims of crime throughout Tayside and ensure that people affected by crime are supported with compassion, knowledge and skill at what can be one of the most difficult times of their lives.”

Phil Davison, Chief Superintendent and Divisional Commander for Tayside Police said:

“It is important to acknowledge the emotional, financial and perhaps even physical trauma often felt by victims of crime. Whilst recorded crime in Scotland has reduced again this year, and the majority of our communities will never experience such issues, it is important that those who are affected by crime are appropriately supported.

“Victim Support Scotland can signpost victims to a range or specialist services and advice, but what we tend to find is that the public do not know of all of the assistance available to them, should they experience a crime against them.

“Tayside Division, Police Scotland are delighted to be involved in this pilot and during our interactions with the public we will be raising awareness of VSS and everything they can provide victims.

“We hope to enhance public confidence by demonstrating Police Scotland’s commitment to tackling crime and directing victims to our partners at VSS, where they’ll receive all of the support they require.”