Making a statement
If you have been a victim of crime or witnessed a crime you may be asked to provide a statement to the Police to assist with their investigation.
Why do I need to make a statement?
Police investigations gather all the evidence, including accounts of witnesses, to determine whether an offence has been committed. If the Police have determined that an crime has occurred and they have an offender identified they will then charge the offender with the crime and the matter will proceed to court.
If you provide a statement you may be required to attend court to give evidence should the case proceed to court.
What happens if the Defendant is charged?
You will be contacted by the Victim and Witness Coordinator once the defendant has been charged. The coordinator will introduce themselves as your point of contact for the duration of the court proceedings.
The coordinator will discuss the court process with you and help with practical things, such as:
- Obtaining your availability to attend court
- Arranging travel and accommodation
- Claiming expenses
- Arrange for you to visit the Court in advance to see how things work
- Be supported at Court on the day of the trial
- Discuss whether you require any additional support such as an interpreter or support with a disability
- Whether you require special measures such as giving your evidence behind a screen
My rights as a witness
If you have witnessed a crime and are required to attend court to give evidence, you have the right to expect a certain level of service from the criminal justice system. The Code of Practice for Witnesses of Crime explains your rights in full.
Key standards if care you must receive as a witness are:
- Being treated with dignity and respect at all times;
- Being informed of a main point of contact, who will keep you up to date with the progress of the case and will either provide support of refer you to relevant support agencies;
- Being given information about the court and the court process.
- Receive special measures if you are considered to be a vulnerable or intimidated witness. These may include allowing you to give evidence from outside of the courtroom via video-link;
- Having a needs assessment conducted to identify any support you may need to help you give evidence during the investigation or in court;
- The ability to claim expenses for travel to and from the court and compensation for loss of earnings incurred as a result of attending court;
The Victim and Witness Hus is here to guide you through the journey and will provide you with emotional and practical support for as long as you may need it.