[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Crime victims helped to testify
A service that helps victims and witnesses of crime who are too scared or intimidated to give evidence in court is being launched in Bradford.

The witness care unit opens on Monday under the No Witness No Justice scheme in a bid to make trials more effective.

It is hoped providing people with better information and reassurance will make them more willing to attend court and help bring offenders to justice.

The unit will be opened by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC.

Practical difficulties

Lord Goldsmith said victims and witnesses often felt powerless in the face of the crime they had suffered.

"By giving them support through the trial process, the unit will enable victims and witnesses to take back power from the criminals who have wronged them," he said.

The unit will house witness care officers from West Yorkshire Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Witness Service.

Officers will provide a single point of contact for the victim or witness throughout the case, from the time charges are made to the outcome of any court proceedings.

They can also help with practical difficulties that may prevent people attending court such as childcare.


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific