Victims and witnesses will be better informed as they prepare for attending court, following a conference.
New and innovative resource booklets have been created to provide clear and easy to follow advice to victims and witnesses to help them to best prepare for attending court.
The resources have been developed by Intermediaries for Justice and The Office of the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner. The suite of documents includes a supportive guide to help victims produce a ‘Victim Personal Statement’.
It has informative info graphics to help victims communicate the impact that the event has had upon them. The documents are tailored to provide information about court processes with photographs of the individual courts to enable the victim or witness to familiarise themselves with the setting before they attend.
The resources were launched at the ‘Unlocking the Mysteries of the Criminal Justice System’ conference hosted by the Office of the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner.
Jeanne Trotter, Criminal Justice Lead for the Office of Durham Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner said: “All victims are entitled to make a Victim Personal Statement. These resources are designed to support the victim in this process and to help elevate some of the ‘unknowns’ for victims and witnesses who need to attend court.”
Susan Stewart, speech and language therapist, registered intermediary and author, said: “It’s been a real privilege to be part of creating these communication friendly resources. I’m very grateful to Durham PCVC for their forward thinking in recognising the national need for these resources, and Designs Unique for creating the graphics.
“The ‘Witnesses and Crown Court’ and ‘Witnesses and Magistrates’ Court pdfs will help witnesses and victims understand and see the journey at their local court.
“The Victim Personal Statement (VPS) Resource Pack’ will enable victims to understand what a VPS is, make an informed choice about giving one, plan for what to say and provide their VPS if they wish.
“These resources will help people across the country to make sense of the criminal justice process.”
They will be available on the Intermediaries for Justice website www.intermediaries-for-justice.org.