Responding to a new report by the police watchdog HMICS which described the services offered to some victims of sexual crime as “unacceptable” and highlighted variations in availability and quality, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:
“This report reveals how far behind best practice, and England, forensic and healthcare services in Scotland currently are.
“We have heard of intolerable conditions. Police officers have warned that rape victims are being interviewed in damp, mouldy rooms with leaking roofs. Victims in the northern isles have been forced to make traumatic trips to the mainland for examinations, leading Liberal Democrats to secure assurances from ministers that new medical equipment and specialist training will be made available locally. Nobody should ever have to wait days to wash.
“Victims deserve so much better. The services that are supposed to support them shouldn’t compound their distress. SNP ministers, Police Scotland and the NHS need to urgently address these failings so that nothing deters people from coming forward to get assistance and justice.”