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Last Updated: Monday, 31 January, 2005, 06:35 GMT
Court gets 'victim only' entrance
Newcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court is one of the north's largest court buildings
Victims and witnesses attending cases at a Tyneside court have been given their own entrance to avoid potential conflict with defendants.

More than 25,000 has been spent at Newcastle Crown Court - one of northern England's largest court buildings.

New facilities also include a suite of waiting rooms for witnesses, all of which come into operation on Monday.

The move followed pleas from the Crown Prosecution Service, Probation Service and Victim Support specialists.

The project has been funded by the Northumbria Criminal Justice Board, which is chaired by Northumbria Police chief constable Crispian Strachan.

He said: "This is a major improvement for witnesses and victims, which will support members of the public in bringing offenders to justice.

"It will go a considerable way to reduce the stress they undergo when attending court to give evidence.

"In the past all witnesses, except some vulnerable witnesses under special measures, had to use the main doors and wait on the concourses, possibly with the defendants, until called into court."





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SEE ALSO:
Cameras aid vulnerable witnesses
03 Aug 04 |  Cumbria
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