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New victim protection Bill goes to Parliament

Legislation aimed at protecting victims of crime is expected to be passed at the Scottish Parliament.

The Victims and Witnesses Bill includes proposals to make offenders pay towards the cost of supporting victims.

It sets out rights for victims to see certain information about their case and provisions for victims of sexual assaults to choose the gender of the police officer who interviews them.

MSPs will debate the Bill at its final stage before it becomes law.

Labour supports the Bill, but has made amendments, like victims being allowed to read statements in court or via a video link if an accused pleads or is found guilty.

The party wants a more compassionate victim notification scheme that would allow victims to choose how they are told about an offender's eligibility for release and when they will be released.

Labour also wants victims to be given the opportunity to give oral statements directly to the offender via video link if they so wish ahead of release in cases of life imprisonment.

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