Scotland Top For Victim Support

Scotland has topped a European league table of countries providing specialist support to victims of crime. A study showed of those who suffered a burglary, robbery, sexual attack or assault, 22% received specialist support to help them cope. This compares with an average of 7% in Europe and 16% across the UK.

The European Union Crime and Safety Study showed Britain had the highest coverage rate of support agencies for crime victims. Hungary had the lowest. In Hungary, only 0.4% of victims received help.

In most European countries victims of burglaries are rarely offered help, with support usually reserved for victims of contact crimes such as robberies and assaults. However, in the UK more than 10% of burglary victims received support.

The findings, which cover 2005, were welcomed by David McKenna, the chief executive of Victim Support Scotland. He said the high levels of support provided in Scotland were the result of years of hard work by the organisation’s staff and volunteers, working in conjunction with the police and others.

Speaking at the start of European Victims Week, which runs from 19 February to 24 February, he said: “This is great news for all of the Scottish agencies striving to provide a high quality of service to the victims of crime.”