Scotland’s leading victims charity is to survey 1,000 victims of crime to assess and evaluate their views on justice, sentencing, and what they had wanted from the criminal justice system.
Victim Support Scotland (VSS) aims to ensure that its services to victims and witnesses of crime are evidence-based and can demonstrate to service users, funders, partner agencies and the public that VSS’s work is meeting the varied needs of victims and witnesses.
Questionnaires will be offered to families in a variety of crime situations ranging from families bereaved by murder to those affected by crimes of indecency, dishonesty and vandalism.
David McKenna, Chief Executive of VSS, said that the findings would help to ensure that the expectations and views of victims of crime were heard at the heart of justice in Scotland.
He added: “Next week (February 15-19) is European Victims Week and it is right at this time with all of the proposed changes in the justice system and the implications of the Criminal Justice & Licensing Bill that we review the attitudes of people who use our free and confidential services.
“Public confidence and victim satisfaction in the justice system is paramount and our findings should help to guide all of the people we work with within that system,”
Victim Support Scotland, now in its 25th year, is a registered charity which provides help to all victims and witnesses of crime. Last year VSS dealt with 86,000 Victim referrals, 81,000 Witness referrals and almost 1,000 referrals to VOYCE, its youth justice service in Dundee. The charity has a presence in all of Scotland’s local authority regions and has staff and/or volunteers in every Sheriff and High Court in Scotland.