Role of the group
The Victims Taskforce has been established to improve support, advice and information for victims of crime. The primary role of the Taskforce is to co-ordinate and drive action to improve the experiences of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system, whilst ensuring a fair justice system for those accused of crime.
As part of this, the Taskforce will monitor, support and facilitate the delivery of the following Programme for Government commitments:
- reduce and, where possible, eliminate the need for victims to have to retell their story to different organisations as they look for help, working with Victim Support Scotland and others.
- widen the range of serious crimes where the victim can make a statement to the court about how the crime has affected them, consulting on specific details by early 2019.
- ensure victims and their families have better information and greater support ahead of prison release arrangements.
- increase the openness and transparency of the parole system
- establish, by Spring 2019, a new support service for families bereaved by murder and culpable homicide
- improve the experience of victims of rape and sexual assault
The Taskforce is co-chaired by the Justice Secretary and Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, head of Scotland's system of criminal prosecution. The taskforce brings together senior decision-makers from justice agencies, the legal profession, academia and the voluntary sector, including direct representation of victims.
The Taskforce will meet quarterly until the end of the parliamentary term in 2021.
- Humza Yousaf MSP, Scottish Government - Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Co-chair)
- James Wolffe QC, Scottish Government - Lord Advocate (Co-chair)
- Neil Rennick, Scottish Government, Director of Justice
- Michael Chalmers, Scottish Government, Director of Children and Families
- Iain Livingstone, Police Scotland, Chief Constable
- David Harvie, COPFS, Crown Agent
- Eric McQueen, Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, Chief Executive
- Colin McConnell, Scottish Prisons Service, Chief Executive
- John Watt, Parole Board, Chair
- Pauline Proudfoot, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, Operational Development Manager
- Karyn McCluskey, Chief Executive, Community Justice Scotland
- Kathryn Lindsay, Vice President, Social Work Scotland
- Kate Wallace, Victim Support Scotland, Chief Executive
- Marsha Scott, Women’s Aid, Chief Executive
- Sandy Brindley, Rape Crisis Scotland, Chief Executive
- Mhairi McGowan, Head of ASSIST and Domestic Abuse services
- Mary Glasgow, Children 1st, Chief Executive
- Victims Organisations Collaboration Forum Scotland - rotating seat
- Lorna Jack, Law Society of Scotland, Chief Executive
- Angela Grahame, Faculty of Advocates, Vice-Dean
- Sarah Armstrong, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, Director
- Lynn Burns, Victim’s Voice