Attending Court

Staff within our Victim and Witness Care Unit are here to offer support and make the process of going to court as simple as possible. If you have any questions please get in touch.

There is a Witness Charter in place which explains the rights of any witness who is going through the Criminal Justice Process. There is also a Code of Practice in place for Victims which explains what service victims are entitled to receive.

As cases proceed through the Criminal Justice System, staff within the Unit contact victims and witnesses to:

  • Explain the court process and undertake a detailed needs assessment if a victim or witness has to attend court to give evidence
  • Update with relevant case specific information, for example; changes in court dates or bail conditions
  • Discuss any concerns victims and witnesses may have about the process
  • Offer help and support.

They will be a main point of contact for the victim or witness and will liaise with the police, courts Crown Prosecution Service and any other agencies required.

Giving evidence via video link

Video or remote links can allow you to give evidence without having to attend the court room. This could be useful because you will not have to go into the same room, or even building as the defendant.

If you would like to apply to use a video/remote link to give your evidence, please inform your Victim and Witness Care Officer, or if the case has not yet reached court for the first hearing please inform your Investigating Officer. 

Video Link FAQ

Can anyone use video link?

We will advise The Crown Prosecution Service who will make the application for approval and the Court has to consider these applications before it makes its final decision.

Sometimes a video/remote link will not be possible, or will not be agreed. If this happens, your Victim and Witness Care Officer will discuss other options available in order to support you to give your evidence.

How does it work?

A video/remote link works similarly to Skype and face time; you would talk into a TV and you will be able to see the Court room and the person (for example the Prosecutor) talking to you. All those who are in the court room will be able to see you, through a similar TV.

In exceptional situations the Court will agree to put a screen up, either around the defendant or around the TV which would mean that they wouldn’t be able to see you, but would still hear you give evidence.

Do not worry if you have not used this type of technology before as the video/remote link will be set up for you to use by court staff.

What if I live abroad?

If you live abroad or you are moving abroad and cannot return to the UK to give evidence in the trial, then video links can be used from other countries, but this can only happen if your case is being dealt with in a Crown Court.

Are there any other options available?

In very rare cases we are able to arrange a video link from a laptop from your home or hospital. These options can be discussed with your Victim and Witness Care Officer.

 

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