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.

How to join the Victim Notification Scheme

If you choose to join, please complete the application form provided by the Victim Information and Advice Service (VIA) of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and send it to the Scottish Prison Service. The address is given on the form and is also on page 11 of this booklet. 

Please contact VIA for an application form if you have not received one.
The contact details for VIA are found on page 11. 

If you need help to decide whether to join the Victim Notification Scheme or complete the form you can contact Victim Support Scotland, a national charity that helps victims of crime. Their contact details can be found on page 11 of this booklet.

Once the Scottish Prison Service receives your application form they will write to you to advise you of the nature of information you will be entitled to receive under the scheme. They will provide you with a unique reference number; please remember to quote this number on all further correspondence with them.

If you choose not to opt in to the scheme you will not receive any further letters or forms and you will not receive any information about the offender. You will not have the opportunity to send written representations to the Parole Board.

If you do not initially join the scheme you can still change your mind at a later date. If so, you can send the form to the Scottish Prison Service or contact them at any time (contact details are supplied at page 11). However, you can only be included in the scheme until the date where the offender’s sentence comes to an end. The later you leave it to join however, the more likely it is that the information you are entitled to will be limited as the offender may have been considered for release or may already have been released. 

If you have joined the Victim Notification Scheme and later decide you do not want to receive any more information about the offender you can withdraw from it at any time.

Please provide as much information as possible about how you can be contacted. If you are happy to be contacted by phone, please include a telephone number. This will make it easier for the Scottish Prison Service to get in touch with you quickly. This information will be maintained in the strictest confidence.



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