The Victim Contact Scheme (VCS) provides information to victims of serious and violent offences, where the offender is sentenced to 12 months or more in prison. The scheme, which is run by the National Probation Service, is also offered when the offender is detained as a mental health patient.
You have the right to receive information and to express any concerns about your safety. A specialist victim liaison staff will treat you with respect and sensitivity at all times.
They will give you information and explain how your voice can be heard.
What can the VCS do for me?
If you choose to take up the service, the National Probation Service will:
- tell you about the offender’s sentence and what it means;
- update you on key changes in their sentence which might affect you (for example, if an offender is moved to an open prison);
- ask you about any concerns you may have when the offender is being considered for release – this could include short periods out of prison on temporary licence;
- make sure your views are considered when the conditions are being set for the offender’s release on licence (for example, this could include a request for them not to contact you or a request for an exclusion zone which prohibits the offenders from entering areas where you live or work);
- tell you the month when the offender is going to be released and any licence conditions which may affect you or help you;
- tell you when the offender’s licence ends, or if they are recalled to prison;
- tell you how you can make a Victim Personal Statement to the Parole Board.
Find out more about the Victim Contact Scheme.
Alternatively, you can find out more about the Merseyside Victim Contact Scheme by calling 0151 229 2015.