A TASKFORCE is being set up to ensure the justice system does not worsen “trauma and distress” of crime victims.

The Scottish Government group will be chaired by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, and will take evidence from victims of their experiences.

The group will include figures from justice agencies and voluntary-sector organisations, including those which support victims.

Yousaf said: “Significant progress has been made in recent years to enhance victims’ rights and provide funding for appropriate support while criminal justice agencies have set robust standards of service for victims and witnesses.

“However, we must go further to ensure the justice system does not exacerbate trauma and distress.”

Rape Crisis Scotland chief executive Sandy Brindley highlighted a 22% increase in rapes reported to police from 2016/17 to 2017/18.

She said: “Rape complainers continue to tell us of very difficult experiences of the criminal justice system, with the fear of giving evidence of this nature compounded by long delays and frequent changes in court dates.

“This taskforce is an opportunity to make a difference to complainers’ experience of, and confidence in, the justice system.”