Victims Taskforce

Victim Support Scotland is a member of the Scottish Government’s Victims Taskforce. The taskforce aims to co-ordinate and drive action to improve the experiences of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system, while ensuring a fair justice system for those accused of crime.

Our role is about helping ensure this forum drives forward lasting positive changes to Scotland’s justice system and to pave the way for the creation of move efficient policies. Victim Support Scotland chairs the workstream focussing on the ‘victim-centred approach’ and has been a key influence to ensure victim’s voices are central to the work of the taskforce.

The taskforce is responsible for monitoring, supporting and facilitating the delivery of the following Programme for Government commitments:

  • Reduce and, where possible, eliminate the need for victims to have to retell their story to different organisations as they look for help. This is known as the ‘Tell Us Once’ principle.
  • Widen the range of serious crimes where the victim can make a statement to the court about how the crime has affected them, consulting on specific details by early 2019.
  • Ensure victims and their families have better information and greater support ahead of prison release arrangements.
  • Improve the experience of victims of rape and sexual assault.

The taskforce is co-chaired by the Justice Secretary and Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, head of Scotland’s system of criminal prosecution. It brings together senior decision-makers from justice agencies, the legal profession, academia and the voluntary sector, including direct representation of victims.

Find out more on the work of the Victims Taskforce.