Scottish Crime and Justice Survey: Victim Support Scotland Comment

Victim Support Scotland welcomes the publication of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey which was based on a sample of 16,000 people living in Scotland. The survey was modualised and split into four quarter samples each with 4000 respondents.

The information contained within the survey in relation to, for example satisfaction rates, we believe relates to the specific target samples of 4000 respondents and not the total 16,000.

We welcome the opportunity to fully digest this detailed report and the following comments are our initial thoughts in relation to matters identified.

Property v violent crime

We note that 83% of respondents were victims of property crime and 19% were victims of violent crime.

Interestingly, victims of property crime perceived that they actually had been a victim of crime whereas victims of violent crime saw the matter as almost a part of life.

In relation to violent crime 32% of assailants had a weapon and 58% assailants were under the influence of alcohol.

These figures substantiate the link between alcohol and violent crime and the cultural propensity in Scotland for carrying weapons, both of which are areas of priority for Scotland.

Access to services and support

85% of victims surveyed indicated they did not need any further support or assistance. There could be a number of reasons for this. We know, for example, that some victims of property crime often have a range of support available to them eg insurance, family and friends etc.

We take the view from our experience that victims of violent crime will initially indicate they do not require support. However, on reflection this view changes when the full impact of the crime is felt by the victim. Many victims do not know how to access the range of support that may be available to them and this fact would appear to be confirmed by the survey.

Victim Support Scotland recognises that 65% of victims surveyed knew very little about the justice system in Scotland and, in addition, 18% knew nothing at all and as such will not be aware of the support services currently available.

The report confirmed information that we are aware of in relation to repeat victimisation, that 36% victims of property crime are repeat victims and that 38% of victims of violent crime are repeat victims. This remains a priority for Victim Support Scotland.

Victim Support Scotland will actively review the information contained in this report and it will assist our organisation in developing our future approach to service delivery in Scotland.

Contact: Susan Gallagher
Phone: 0131 668 4486 or 07814 538844 or 07803 970320 (24hrs)