News

New victim support fund announced

Published: 07 Oct 2021 11:17
Part of:
Law and order

Scheme will diversify and broaden support for victims.

A new streamlined fund worth at least £30 million over the next three years is being launched to better help victims of crime.

The new Victim Centred Approach Fund will simplify funding for organisations into one easy-to-access place, providing support for victims across Scotland.

The fund forms a central plank of the Scottish Government’s commitment to putting victims at the heart of the justice system by improving the range of advice, information and support available to them.

It will help support specialist services for those bereaved by crime in Scotland or abroad, provide court advocacy support for survivors of gender-based violence, fund support and assistance for victims of human trafficking and enable better long-term outcomes for victims including improved mental and physical health.

It will also enable more organisations who support victims to apply for funding and encourage the development of new projects and approaches.

The fund will open for applications from third sector organisations, community interest companies and public sector bodies, including local authorities, later this month. Organisations considering applying to the fund are able to register their interest now.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said:

“This new streamlined fund will provide joined-up, accessible support to all victims regardless of where they live in Scotland.

“We want people to feel safer, better informed and have an improved experience of the justice system which is why – along with this new fund – we have committed in our Programme for Government to appointing a Victims’ Commissioner to provide an independent voice for victims in Scotland.

“We will also review the Victim Notification Scheme to ensure victims are able to receive timely and compassionate information on the release of offenders, and provide more opportunities for victims to tell courts how crime has personally impacted on them.

“Putting victims at the heart of the justice system is a key priority for this government. This new fund underlines that commitment and will ensure those with experience of crime are fully engaged with and supported on their journey to recovery.”

Background

More information on the Victim Centred Approach Fund and how to register interest in applying is available on the Scottish Government website.

The vision and the priorities and outcomes of the new fund are underpinned by the work of the Victims Taskforce, Equally Safe and reviews such as those carried out by Lesley Thomson (Victim Care in the Justice System, 2017) and Thrive (Transforming Services for Victims and Witnesses, 2020) as well as input from individuals and families with lived experience of crime.

The first tranche of Victim Centred Approach Fund awards will run for three years from April 2022 until the end of March 2025 and will be worth at least £10 million per year.