The statutory Probation Service Victim Contact Scheme (VCS ) is offered to victims of violent and sexual offences where the offender receives a sentence of 12 months or more. The purpose of the VCS is to provide eligible victims with information and advice about the criminal justice process by a designated Victim Liaison Officer (VLO ). This includes being kept informed of key stages of the offender's sentence, at the discretion of the probation trust, such as transfer to open conditions or release, and to make representations about victim related conditions that can be attached to the offender's release licence.
If you are the victim of an offender who has committed a violent or sexual offence and received a sentence of 12 months' imprisonment or more or has been detained in a hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983, you are entitled to be notified about the VCS by your Witness Care Unit and be told that your details will be automatically referred to the probation trust within 20 working days, unless you have said you do not want them to be.
If you choose to take part in the VCS you are entitled to:
If the offender in the case is under 18, the Youth Offending Team will refer your details to the probation trust so you can be offered an opportunity to take part in the VCS .