The Victim Notification Scheme (VNS) is managed by the Scottish Prison Service, and allows those whose lives have been affected by prisoners sentenced to more than 18 months to receive information about their progression and eventual release.
As a victim of crime you have rights. The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out these rights, how to exercise them and who to contact for help and advice.
The Code can be found here
In some criminal cases, victims have a right to receive information about the release of an offender. They may also have a right to be told when the offender is being considered for release and to make written representations (written comments) about the release of the offender.
The process that allows victims to be told about an offender's release and to make representations is known as the Victim Notification Scheme, or VNS.
VNS comes in two parts, victims can register to be on either Part 1 or Part 2, or they can register for both. The first part allows victims to receive information about an offender's release. The second part allows victims to make representations to the Parole Board in advance of an offender being considered for release. The Board will consider these representations along with other information on the offender's case before reaching a decision.
Those registered under Part 2 of the VNS are entitled to submit written representations to the Board when considering a prisoner’s case. In life sentence cases, an interview with a Board Member may also be requested where a summary will be prepared by the interviewing Member which is then agreed with the registered individual before being provided to the Board. In all Part 2 cases, the registered individual will also receive notification of whether the prisoner is to be released and, if so, any licence conditions relevant to them.
Full information on VNS can be found at the website below:
Section 2 of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 requires the Parole Board for Scotland, Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Scottish Prison Service to set and publish standards of service for victims and witnesses.
All of our standards will be monitored, reviewed and reported on annually.
The Annual Reports along with the standards for 2021 - 2022 are set out in the documents below.