Privacy notice

Victim Support Scotland (VSS) provides people with free and confidential emotional and practical assistance and information about the criminal justice system. To do this, we need to take personal details from the people we support in order to provide them with the best bespoke service we can.

VSS is fully committed to ensuring all personal data and sensitive personal data is handled fairly and lawfully and with due regard to confidentiality, dignity and respect. You can find more information on how we handle data and what it means to you below.

Data controller
A data controller is a person, company, or other body that determines the purpose and means of personal data processing (this can be determined alone, or jointly with another person/company/body).

Data processor
A data processor is a person, company, or other body that processes data on behalf of a data controller. A data controller decides the purpose and manner to be followed to process the data, while data processors hold and process data, but do not have any responsibility or control over that data.

Personal data
Personal data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable living individual. Different pieces of information, which collected together can lead to the identification of a particular person, also constitute personal data.

Special category data
A term describing a sub-category of personal data that requires heightened data protection measures due to its sensitive and personal nature. In some jurisdictions, this type of personal data may be described as sensitive personal data.

Data protection officers
Responsible for overseeing a company’s data protection strategy and its implementation to ensure compliance with Data Protection requirements.

Victim Support Scotland’s role
VSS is a ‘controller’ and also a ‘processor’ of personal data. We are fully committed to ensuring all personal data is handled fairly, lawfully and with due regard to confidentiality, dignity and respect.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018 there are certain personal and special category types of data.

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person, for example:

  • a name and surname
  • a home address
  • an email address such as

Special category data is particularly sensitive personal information that needs to have extra protective measures in place. However, this doesn’t mean that personal information isn’t important, but organisations need to be especially mindful when collecting, managing and storing special category data. Examples of special category data are:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • trade union membership
  • physical or mental health or condition
  • sex life and sexual orientation

VSS gathers and records information, contacting service users and assessing their needs in respect of VSS services. Information will not be used for any other purpose than that for which it was collected.

If you access the Victim Support Scotland service, we must collect some of your details to allow us to provide you with the service. We may collect details such as; name, address, telephone number and email address, but only if you allow to do so.  We will also collect any other applicable information that will help support you e.g. what happened to you and notes of any discussions we have with you.

We will only collect any personal data from you that we need in order to provide and oversee our service to you.

All confidential and sensitive information will be kept securely by VSS.

VSS will work to ensure that we maintain a confidential service and protect the information of our service users, staff, volunteers and other contacts.

We will collect and process certain types of personal data about our service users in order to operate and provide services, for example:

  • details of people who contact our services for support and assistance
  • the type of support provided to individuals
  • statistical information on victims and witnesses and others affected by crime
  • research/strengthening victim support services

The personal data is held so we can contact and assess service users to assist us to:

  •  provide the best possible service to people affected by crime, which includes the monitoring and evaluating our service
  • campaign for improved rights and services for people affected by crime

We also hold personal data on staff, volunteers, service suppliers and other professional business contacts.

Will VSS share my personal data? 
Personal data held by VSS will not be shared with any other agency without your consent, unless we must comply with the law, or we have justifiable concerns about your well-being.

How long will you keep my personal data and where do you store it? 
We will only keep your personal data for as long as we need it to help us to provide a service to you, in line with our data retention policy, or until you tell us you no longer wish us to hold your personal data.

The Data Protection Act 2018 allows all living individuals the right over how their data is collected, processed and stored.

If you believe the information that we hold about you is incorrect then you can request to see this information, and have it corrected or deleted. If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer and we will investigate this for you.

Our Data Protection team can be contacted via email at

Further information about your data rights can be found on the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) website.

Social media (3rd party disclaimer) 
Communication, engagement and actions taken through external social media platforms that this website and its owners participate on are subject to the terms and conditions as well as the privacy policies held with each social media platform respectively.

This website may use social sharing buttons which help share web content
directly from web pages to the social media platform in question. Users are
advised before using such social sharing buttons that they do so at their own
discretion and note that the social media platform may track and save your
request to share a web page respectively through your social media platform

Shortened Links in Social Media 
This website and its owners through their social media platform accounts may share web links to relevant web pages. By default, some social media platforms shorten lengthy URLs (website addresses).

An HTTP cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (how you’ve used the website) or to record the user’s browsing activity.

Further information can be found at the cookiepedia website.

You can read the Victim Support Scotland cookies policy here.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The ICO can be contacted at the address below:

The Information Commissioner’s Office – Scotland
45 Melville Street
Telephone: 0303 123 1115

Our privacy notice is reviewed from time to time and there may be changes to the notice that bring it in line with how and why we collect, process and store your personal data. There may also be times where there’s a change to existing law requirement or introduction of a new one.

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the privacy notice via