Right to Minimum Standards of Service

Victims and witnesses are entitled to a certain level of support and information from the organisations they deal with in the criminal justice system.

These are set out in the Standards of Service document which contains information relating to Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), the Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service, Scottish Prison Service, and the Parole Board for Scotland, and how they should treat victims and witnesses.

The Standards of Service of criminal justice agencies will ensure you have fair and equal access to services throughout and are treated with dignity and respect at all times regardless of your background, age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, nationality, religion, belief or sexual orientation.

Where required, additional support will be provided and any reasonable adjustments made to ensure that you have access to information and support services.

The criminal justice agencies will work together, and in partnership with victim and witness support organisations, to ensure you are provided with the best service possible.

Additionally, when you come into contact with criminal justice agencies you should:

  • Be treated in a respectful, sensitive, tailored, professional and non-discriminatory manner
  • Be able to obtain information about what is happening in the investigation or proceedings, where it is appropriate and relevant
  • Be able to understand information you are given and be understood in any information you provide
  • Have your needs taken into consideration
  • Where appropriate, be able to participate effectively in the investigation and proceedings
  • Have access to appropriate support during and after the investigation and proceedings
  • If you are a victim under the age of 18 years, have your best interests considered, taking into account your age, maturity, views, needs and concerns
  • Be protected from further victimisation, intimidation and retaliation during and after the investigation and proceedings

You can request a copy of the Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses from any of the criminal justice agencies mentioned above or view it on their websites.

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