Witness Charter

Under the Witness Charter there are a set of standards set out which guide how we work.

  • You will be treated with dignity and respect at all times by each of the service providers you have contact with in the criminal justice system.
  • You will have a main point of contact at all stages of the process. As well as keeping you informed of the progress of the case, your point of contact will support you through the process or refer you to relevant support agencies.
  • Police will conduct an initial assessment of your needs. If you are required to give evidence in court, the Witness Care Unit will offer you a full needs assessment where appropriate. These assessments identify any help you may need to give evidence during the investigation or in court, including any special measures you may need if you are a vulnerable or intimidated witness.
  • The date that you are due to give evidence should be arranged with your availability in mind. Your waiting time to give evidence in court should be kept to a minimum and, where possible, not exceed two hours.
  • Measures will be taken in court to ensure that it is a safe environment for all and to ensure that prosecution witnesses, defence witnesses and their family and friends wait in separate areas.
  • You will be given information (or the details of where information can be found) about the court and court process in advance of giving evidence so that you know what to expect.
  • You can visit the court before the trial and will be shown around by the Witness Service. Pre-trial visits are particularly helpful for witnesses who have been granted special measures as they will be able to get a feel for how those measures will operate beforehand
  • You can refresh your memory of what you said in your statement or in video-recorded evidence in advance of giving evidence in court.
  • You can claim expenses for travel to and from the court and compensation for loss of earnings incurred as a result of attending court.
  • As a prosecution witness, you will be informed of any appeal against conviction and/or sentence. If you are requested to provide further evidence at an appeal, you will still be covered by the relevant standards in the Witness Charter.


For full details about what you can expect as a witness, please view the Witness Charter which is laid out by the Home Office.

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09 Apr 21 11:16 AM

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