Victim Notification Scheme

The Victim Notification Scheme (VNS) is a statutory scheme, which came into force on 1 November 2004 and provided victims of offenders who had been sentenced, for certain crimes, to 4 years or more with the right to receive information about the offender's progression within prison and eventual release. On 15 May 2008, the VNS was extended to include offenders who had been sentenced to 18 months or more.

On 12 December 2013, the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament. The Bill received Royal Assent in January 2014, and the various measures in the Victim and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) will be brought into force over 2014 and 2015. The central aim of the 2014 Act is to improve the experience of victims and witness of crime within the Scottish Justice system.