UK Politics

More crime victims may be given voice in court

Courtroom Image copyright Scottish Court Service

More crime victims may get the chance to have their voice heard in court before criminals are sentenced.

At the moment only victims of violent crime have the option of making a written statement to judges or sheriffs.

Views are now being sought on plans to extend this to crimes such as stalking, human trafficking and domestic abuse.

New technology is also being considered to make it easier for victims to make a statement.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "The long-term fall in crime over the last decade means fewer people fall prey to criminals in Scotland but any experience of a serious crime can be traumatic and the fallout can affect many parts of a victim's life.

"Victim statements are a way of giving people the option of having their voice heard in court to tell their side of the story - how they and their loved ones have been impacted by the crime.

"For maximum effectiveness the system must keep pace with technology and changes to the criminal law and we are committed to ensuring the voices of victims are represented as we continue developing victim support."

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