A CHANGE in the law will ensure victims of crime are told if the offender is released from a mental health institution.

Currently victims are only notified about an offender's release if they are given a prison sentence.

But the Scottish Government plans to amend mental health laws so this will be extended to those offenders who are detained in hospital under a mental health order.

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Victims would then be told if the person who committed the crime was about to be released, either on a permanent or temporary basis, or if they abscond.

Only general details will be given out and it will only apply to more serious offences punishable with a custodial sentence of a year or more.

The change is one of a series of amendments to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 that were published at Holyrood.