Victim Notification Scheme: guidance for victims of crime

Guide explaining what the scheme is, who can take part, what information you can expect to receive and when.

Relatives who can take part in the Victim Notification Scheme

There are some circumstances when a person can join the Victim Notification Scheme on a victim’s behalf which are listed below. The people who can join the Scheme on a victim’s behalf are listed in order of priority further down this page.

  • If the victim has died the four people listed highest can register to join the Scheme.
  • If the victim is incapacitated only the highest person listed may register to join.
  • Where the victim is a child under 12, a parent or carer can register on the child’s behalf.
  • Parents and carers who registered for the Scheme on behalf of a child prior to 13 August 2014 will be able to continue to receive information until that child is 14 (i.e. the Scheme will operate as it did before that date). 

When a child reaches the age of 12, he or she is entitled to register for the Scheme in their own right. If they do, so the information will be sent directly to the child. The parents or carers will no longer be entitled to receive information on behalf of the child and will be removed from the scheme. The Scottish Prison Service will write to you to let you know that you have been removed.

If the victim is unable to communicate and this can be overcome by a human or mechanical aid (e.g. where the victim is unable to write but can tell someone else what they want to say), the right to join the Victim Notification Scheme stays with the victim.

The nearest entitled relatives are:

(a)  spouse;
(b)  cohabitee[1];
(c) son or daughter or any person that the victim had parental rights or responsibilities for;
(d) father or mother or any person who had parental rights or responsibilities towards the victim;
(e)  brother or sister;
(f)  grandparent;
(g)  grandchild;
(h)  uncle or aunt;
(i)  nephew or niece.

The elder of any two persons described in any one of paragraphs (a) to (i) is to be taken to be the higher listed person, regardless of their gender.

For example, in a case where a victim has died leaving a wife, two (living) parents and two brothers, the wife, both parents and the elder of the brothers would be invited to join the Victim Notification Scheme. If one parent decided not to join no others would be invited to take their place from further down the list.



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