Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses Annual Report 2020-2021

May 10, 2021

In line with the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, the Annual Standards of Service Report has been published today. 

It is a joint report produced by Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Scottish Prison Service and the Parole Board for Scotland.  Each justice partner is responsible for setting their own standards of service and reporting on them, however, we have worked collaboratively from the outset to publish a joint annual report on our performance against the standards and the first such report was published in 2015.

The annual report focuses on the steps taken by each organisation to help victims and witnesses feel supported, safe and informed at every stage of their journey. The importance of ensuring that the standards set continue to be met, challenged and reviewed is widely recognised and the annual report continues to provide a platform for reflection and future planning.

SCTS Chief Executive Officer, Eric McQueen, said:  “SCTS remains committed to improving the quality of services available to victims and witnesses in their journey through Scotland’s justice system.

“This year, it is particularly important to acknowledge the significant impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had across the justice sector.  In recent years we have built strong foundations for a more resilient, modern and efficient justice system.  However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in unprecedented levels of rapid change to support the public health response and to maintain essential services.  Throughout this time, we have quickly adapted our business model and accelerated key reforms to continue supporting justice and victims and witnesses in their journey.

“We are grateful to the members of the Victims Organisations Collaboration Forum Scotland (VOCFS), chaired by Victim Support Scotland for their valuable feedback on the Standards of Service and to our partners for their continued support throughout this challenging time.”

The Standards of Service reflect our continuous commitment to ensuring that victims and witnesses feel able to give their best evidence.  The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made this more important than ever and we are committed to ensuring that victims continue to be supported, feel reassured and have confidence in the justice system.  To that end we have committed to work collaboratively with justice partners to review the Standards in the coming year. 

We will engage with victim support organisations during the review and consider if the Standards continue to meet the needs of victims and witnesses during their attendance at court. The first engagement event took place in March 2021.  This work is part of the victim-centred approach to design justice services with victims’ interests at the heart, which is being taken forward by the Victims Taskforce.  While this work is ongoing, we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the current Standards of Service and will make improvements if required as part of the overall review.

  • The Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses Annual Report 2020-2021 is available here
  • The Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses 2021-2022 is available here

Right-hand Menu