Your rights as a witness
If you have witnessed a crime and have been asked to attend court to provide evidence, you have every right to expect a certain level of service from the criminal justice system.
To find out your rights, you can check out the Code of Practice for Witnesses of Crime, which tells you what to expect from the Crown Prosecution Service, criminal justice agency and the courts.
The standard of care you should receive as a witness includes:
- being treated with dignity and respect;
- being given a main point of contact who provides support and keeps you up-to-date on the case progress;
- the option to claim expenses for travel to and from court;
- compensation for loss of earnings while attending court;
- a needs assessment to identify the support you might need while giving evidence;
- special measures if you are considered to be an intimidated or vulnerable witness; and
- being provided with information about the court process and the court itself.
There’s no legal requirement to meet the standard for witness care that are set out in the Witness Charter but all agencies covered by the charter should comply wherever possible.
We can help you through all aspects of being witness to crime and will provide all the emotional and practical support for as long as you need it.
Need to make a complaint?
If you’re unhappy with the level of service you have received, you can complain to the relevant agency formally, such as the Crown Prosecution Service.