Victim Information and Advice (VIA) service

The VIA service is provided by COPFS in criminal court cases. When we first consider a new criminal case, we refer to VIA any victims who should receive extra support.

For example, the person may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • state pension age or over
  • a victim of domestic abuse, hate crime, sexual crime or stalking
  • involved in a trial with a jury
  • a family member (next of kin) in a death enquiry
  • assessed as needing additional support

If you are offered support from VIA, you don't have to use it, but it's there when you need it.

How VIA can help you

We're here to help you understand how the Scottish criminal justice system works. We'll tell you what you can expect at each stage of the process.

We can also tell how things are going with your case. This includes:

  • hearing dates
  • bail decisions
  • verdicts and sentences
  • why no proceedings are being taken (if that is the case)

Support in court

We can organise extra support for you in court if you have to give evidence, by applying to the court for special measures.

We can also:

  • refer you to people who can help you prepare a victim impact statement
  • pass your views on to the judge, if a non-harassment order is being considered for your protection.
  • arrange a visit to the courtroom, so that you know what to expect if your case goes to trial.

Referrals to other support services

We can put you in touch with other services that offer practical and emotional support.

These organisations may be able to help, even if VIA is not available to you in your case.

You'll find a list of these on our Victim support organisations page.

What we can't help with

VIA staff are not lawyers and cannot decide or influence what happens in a case.

Get in touch

By phone

Call: 0300 020 3000

Our phone lines are open: Our phone lines are open Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 5pm, and Friday from 8.30am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Rates for mobile phones may vary by provider.

Relay UK

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired you can contact us by phone using Relay UK.  

Visit the Relay UK website to download the app. 

By email

Email us at

By text

If you are deaf or hearing-impaired you can text us on 07825 280346.

Please tell us if you would like your reply by SMS, text or email.

By relay service

You can contact us via the Contact Scotland BSL video relay service.

If you're using a computer

You can access the Contact Scotland BSL service here.

If you're using a mobile device or tablet

You need to register for the free Contact Scotland BSL app first.

For more information visit the Contact Scotland BSL website or call 0333 344 7712.