Victim's rights in Scotland: easy read leaflet

Publication for people with learning difficulties describes how victims of crime should be treated within the criminal justice system, and what information, help and support they should receive.

Your Right to Be Involved

A woman helping a man to have his say

Right to Understand and Be Understood

You have the right to understand what is happening and be understood. You might be able to have a person of your choice support you while the police take your statement. Everything should be explained to you in simple language.

A woman translating another woman’s question for a Police officer, who is answering the question

Right to Interpretation and Translation

If you have difficulty understanding or speaking English, you can ask for an interpreter to help you:

  • Understand any questions you are being asked
  • Understand any information you are given

You may also ask for translation of a document if it is given to you by law, or if you need it to be involved in the investigation or trial.

A hand pointing between a male and female Police officer, about to choose one of them

Choosing the Gender of the Interviewing Officer

If you are a victim of a sex crime, domestic abuse, human trafficking or stalking, you have the right to ask for the police interviewing officer to be a man or a woman. This is the police officer who will ask you about what happened to you.

Police Scotland will agree to this if they can, but it might not always be possible. If that happens, you will be told why.

Victim Statements

A hand with a pen, writing on a sheet of paper with ‘Statement’ written at the top

For some more serious crimes you have the right to give a victim statement to the court.

A man speaking, giving his statement in his own words

A victim statement is a written statement that tells the court, in your own words, how the crime has affected you. A victim statement is different from any statement you have already given.

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service logo

If you are allowed to give a victim statement you will be contacted by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Giving Your Views on Release Decisions (Victim Notification Scheme)

A man sitting at a desk with two officials

Through the Victim Notification Scheme you can give your views on when the offender is due to get out of prison.

Parole Board for Scotland logo

You can give your views to the Scottish Prison Service, the Parole Board for Scotland or Scottish Ministers.


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