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VSS News

New approach to sentencing in sexual assault and rape cases

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Plans to make sentencing in cases of sexual assault and rape more consistent and transparent have been set out by a senior Scottish judge.   Lady Dorrian, Lord Justice Clerk and Chair of the Scottish Sentencing Council, has laid out plans for guidelines on sexual offences in a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice,... Read more »

The Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill is passed

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Today (10 May 2019) legislation was passed in the Scottish Parliament to ensure more child witnesses are able to pre-record evidence ahead of a jury trial, preventing the traumatic experience of presenting in court. Previously, the measures to protect children and other vulnerable witnesses at court were not seen as inadequate. The lead-up to a trial and the... Read more »

Victims to potentially surrender phones in England and Wales

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A change to the law in England and Wales means that victims of serious crimes, including rape, may have to handover their phones so that the police can go through personal data (such as personal email, messages and photographs). New consent forms, which are passed from the police to victims of crime, are to be... Read more »

A consistent, victim-centred approach to hate crime

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Victim Support Scotland (VSS) recently responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on hate crime. The consultation considered, among other things, an expansion of the statutory aggravations (currently race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability). Statutory aggravations are applied where a crime is motivated by a victim’s personal characteristics which may increase the severity of... Read more »

Victim and witness rights

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On European Day for Victims of Crime 2019, we are supporting Victim Support Europe’s campaign to make victims’ rights a reality. Current legislation in Scotland states that victims of crime must be provided with information on their rights, and who to contact for help and advice.  To do this, the Scottish Government has published a Victims’... Read more »

Victims Week 2019

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Victims Week 2019 takes place 18 – 24 February, and VSS is taking the  opportunity to urge those who need support to contact them for free and confidential help. We are reminding people affected by crime that VSS provides practical and emotional assistance, enabling victims and witnesses to regain control, confidence and peace of mind... Read more »

Scottish Government Consultation on Hate Crime

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Victim Support Scotland (VSS) will submit a response to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on Hate Crime soon and we are asking for input. This piece of work will supplement our initial response to Lord Bracadale’s recommendations as part of our involvement in the independent review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland. The consultation questions include... Read more »

Strengthening victims’ voices in parole hearings

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We are delighted that the Scottish Government has initiated a consultation on improving openness and transparency of parole. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has pledged that victims will be more involved in the parole process and will be able to receive information about the reasons behind parole decisions. There is no role for the Parole Board... Read more »

New facility for children and vulnerable witnesses

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The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is creating new, state of the art facilities to allow children and vulnerable witnesses to give their evidence in criminal trials and to participate in tribunal hearings within a safe, sensitive and secure environment. With funding support from the Scottish Government, the creation of a new child and... Read more »

Upcoming AGM

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Our Annual General Meeting takes place on Wednesday 5th December 2018 at the VSS Glasgow Office.  The programme will commence with registration and refreshments at 11.00am and the meeting will begin at 11.30am until approximately 12.30 pm followed by a buffet lunch. This year the formal AGM Business arrangements will include the re-election of the Vice- Chair and special resolutions to convert from a... Read more »
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