New Victims’ Code to improve working of justice system

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A new Victims’ Code for Scotland which sets out the rights of victims has been launched.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Paul Wheelhouse marked European Day for Victims of Crime by launching the code which aims to improve victims’ experience of the criminal justice system. The Code sets out their rights, and information about the release of offenders.

At the Children 1st base in Selkirk, Mr Wheelhouse said: “Anyone who has been a victim of crime should have confidence they will receive the right support and advice through the criminal justice process, which is why we have introduced the Victims’ Code for Scotland.

“We have long recognised the need to provide the right help, information and support to those affected by crime as this plays a key part in a modern justice system that is fair, accessible and efficient for all. This government has already introduced a range of measures to ensure that those who rely on our justice system have confidence that their voices will be heard.

“By ensuring their interests remain at the heart of the criminal justice system we can help victims continue to feel supported and informed at every stage of the process.

“I am particularly pleased to be able to be here, in Selkirk, to officially launch the Code.”

Anna O’Reilly, Children 1st Assistant Director for Scottish Borders said: “Our base in Selkirk is an ideal place to launch the Victims’ Code as from it we support children and families whose lives have been scarred by abuse and a critical part of that work is ensuring they aren’t traumatised further by the process of bringing the perpetrator of their abuse to justice.”