By telling the police what you know you can help solve or stop a crime.
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.
If you report the crime
If you give permission when you report a crime, your details may be passed on to Victim Support Scotland.
Victim Support Scotland gives free and confidential support to victims, witnesses and others affected by crime, including:
- emotional support
- practical help, like help filling in forms for insurance and compensation and assisting with home and personal security
- liaison with other organisations on behalf of victims and witnesses
There are also people and organisations that can help you if you need specialist support for crimes like domestic abuse, stalking and rape and sexual assault.
You have rights
As a victim or witness of crime, you're entitled to receive a certain level of information and support from the organisations you come in to contact with in the criminal justice system.
In particular, you're entitled to certain information about what's happening with your case, and you should be able to access appropriate support during and after the investigation and proceedings.
The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out your rights and who to contact for help and advice.
You may be entitled to compensation
You might be eligible to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
This government fund:
- is available to blameless victims of violent crime who can't get compensation elsewhere
- can take a long time for a claim to be investigated and compensation paid
- isn't for emergencies
You'll also need to report the crime if you want to make an insurance claim.