Victim and witness rights

On European Day for Victims of Crime 2019, we are supporting Victim Support Europe's campaign to make victims' rights a reality.

21 February, 2019

Current legislation in Scotland states that victims of crime must be provided with information on their rights, and who to contact for help and advice.  To do this, the Scottish Government has published a Victims’ Code for Scotland.

The Code provides information on:

  • the types of support that victims may obtain and from whom that support can be obtained
  • reporting a crime
  • protection, including special measures
  • legal advice/legal aid
  • compensation
  • interpretation and translation
  • anything in place that protects victims’ interests when a crime is committed out with Scotland
  • making a complaint against a competent authority (criminal justice agency)
  • the contact details for all competent authorities
  • the available restorative justice services
  • reimbursement for expenses.

All victims have a right to receive a copy of the Code and any other information on their rights.  The police must make sure that victims are told about the Code and that they know they can request a copy from the police or any other criminal justice agency.

The Code is available in the following languages: Arabic, Bahdini, Farsi, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Slovak, Sorani and Urdu.  To access the Code in any of these languages, please visit the Scottish Government website.  If you need the Code in another language, please call the Scottish Government on 0131 224 4227 to request this.

More information on your rights as a victim or witness can be found on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland websites.   If you want to talk about your rights as a victim or witness, Victim Support Scotland can help and you can all us on 0800 160 1985.