New witness protection scheme announced

Published: 28 December 2019

28 December 2019
Inside court

Witnesses and other vulnerable people whose lives could be at risk will receive enhanced UK-wide protection and support following the announcement of the first UK Protected Persons Service by Victims’ Minister Helen Grant, today (Friday 28 December).

She said:

“Witnesses are the unsung heroes of society, especially those who could be jeopardising their own safety. I cannot thank them enough for the vital role they play in bringing criminals to justice.

 “We are clear any witness whose life could be in danger must be given the best possible protection. The UK Protected Persons Service will ensure those in need receive the expert protection and support no matter wherever they are in the UK.”

Victim Support currently has trained staff and volunteers in every criminal court in England and Wales. Their job is to give information to all people going to court to help understand what will happen when they give evidence, and make it a less daunting process.

Victim Support Chief Executive Javed Khan said;

“"The UK Protected Persons Service is a welcome step to ensure witnesses who help bring criminals to justice in the most serious cases get the help and protection they need. The consistent and high standards of protection planned wherever a witness lives in the country are particularly welcome.

"But it is not just witnesses of the most serious cases who deserve support.  We know from the thousands of witnesses we help each year that consistent, high quality support is essential in all cases - before, during and after any trial. As the Government point out today, a high number of cases of all types collapse because witnesses simply don't feel able to come to court."