Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses Annual Report 2021-2022

Aug 03, 2022

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

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 the coronavirus pandemic continued to have a significant impact across the justice sector.  We have relied on, and appreciate, everyone’s co-operation to enable us to continue to support the public health response and maintain essential services, despite the challenging circumstances. This has allowed us to continue to adapt and adjust our business model and accelerate key reforms using innovative technological advances and approaches to continue supporting justice, and victims and witnesses in their journey, and improving their experiences, whether by attending court in person or via a virtual means. 

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 commenced a review of the Standards to consider if they continue to meet the needs of victims and witnesses during their attendance at court.  We will consult internally and we will engage with victim support organisations during the review.  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 2021-2022 is available here 

The Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses 2022-2023 are available here 

Right-hand Menu