Help if you're a victim or witness of crime and you want to know more about how crimes are dealt with.
If you are a victim of crime, or if you have witnessed a crime, you should contact the police as soon as possible.
Whether you decide to report a crime or not – or you haven't decided yet – there are organisations that can give you help, advice and support.
Finding out about your rights
As a victim of crime you have rights. The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out these rights and who to contact for help and advice.
Read more about the Victims' Code for Scotland.
You can apply for compensation if you or someone you know has been hurt in a violent crime.
During the police investigation
If you've been a victim or witness of crime, you'll normally be asked to give the police a statement so they can understand what happened.
After you've reported a crime, the police will decide if they can investigate the case and the Procurator Fiscal will decide if the case should go to court.
If a case goes to court
Whether you're called to court as a witness or not, you may find it helpful to find out about the court process and how to ask for information about a case.
Help and support is available to you if you get a citation letter asking you to give evidence at court. Find information on how you can prepare and what happens when you give evidence.
You may be able to claim back expenses for travelling to and from court, meals and loss of earnings.
After the verdict
After a guilty verdict, the judge has to decide what punishment to give to the offender. This punishment is called a sentence.
If a convicted person was found guilty after their trial, they can appeal against:
their conviction and sentence
Sometimes victims and witnesses have a right to get information about the release of a prisoner and be told when the prisoner is considered for parole. If you're eligible it's up to you if you want to register or not.