Victims and witnesses of crime receive increased support

claire sugden

The Department of Justice this week issued a press release this week from Justice Minister Claire Sugden https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/news/sugden-highlights-support-victims-and-witnesses-crime

In it she highlighted the success of the Registered Intermediaries Scheme, which was launched in 2013, in assisting those with communication difficulties to communicate their answers more effectively during police interviews and when giving evidence at trial. This scheme assists all participants in the criminal justice system including vulnerable victims, witnesses, suspects and defendants.

court

In addition to the Registered Intermediaries Scheme the Minister went on to confirm that she was “progressing work to pilot the recording of cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses ahead of the trial. This special measure will be piloted in Belfast Crown Court this summer for a period of 12 months.”  With this step, those witnesses who are vulnerable or subject to intimidation will be able to give their evidence without having the added distress of having to attend Court on a day when those who may be seeking to intimidate them would also be present.  The Minister highlighted her desire to develop a new three-year Victim and Witness Action Plan and she has confirmed that she has asked officials within the Department to carry this work forward.

Have you suffered injury or damage as the result of a criminal act and wish to seek compensation or alternatively, have you been accused of a criminal offence and require representation at a police station and/or at Court? If so, contact Stephen Clarke at MTB today who can offer advice and assistance. 028 90 329801 / stephen.clarke@mtb-law.co.uk