Self-referral forensic medical services - retention period for evidence: consultation

The landmark Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 20 January 2021. This consultation seeks views on the appropriate retention period for evidence collected in the course of self-referral forensic medical services.

Chapter 3: Impact assessment

32. Five impact assessments were published in November 2019 to accompany the introduction of the Bill for the FMS Act:

  • Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment[11]
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment[12]
  • Equality Impact Assessment[13]
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment[14]
  • Islands Communities Impact Assessment[15]

33. A human rights impact assessment was contained in the Policy Memorandum for the Bill[16], at paragraphs 85 to 91. A Revised Data Protection Impact Assessment[17] was published in November 2020.

34. Since the proposal for a retention period being prescribed by regulations was always contemplated in these impact assessments, the Scottish Government wishes to establish if there are any factors that would justify the preparation of further impact assessment material for the retention period regulations specifically.

35. In terms of equality impact in particular, the Scottish Government is keen to hear from a broad and diverse range of people. We are aware that there are particular groups who feel unable to come forward following a rape or sexual assault whether to seek healthcare or report to the police. The Scottish Government would welcome hearing about the experience of survivors who have experienced forensic medical examination generally, and particularly from survivors who have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • They are male;
  • They experienced a forensic medical examination when they were under 18;
  • They are from a minority ethnic group or community, including but not limited to the gypsy/traveller community;
  • They identify as trans or non-binary.

Question 4:

Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in this paper, not sufficiently covered the existing impact assessments, on child rights and wellbeing, data protection, equality, socio-economic equality (the Fairer Scotland Duty), people in rural or island communities, or human rights?



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