When you are a witness to a crime, you are entitled to expect a level of service from us and other agencies in the criminal justice system. The Witness Charter sets out that level of service.
As a witness to a crime, we will:
- Treat you fairly, respecting your needs irrespective of race, religion, background, gender, age, sexuality or any disability
- Assess your needs and whether you require extra support
- Explain how we are going to deal with the crime and how long this will take
- Give you a reference or crime number and details of who to contact for further enquiries
- Possibly ask you to make a statement about what you witnessed. You do not have to make a statement, but you might still be asked to go to court
- Let you check your statement to make sure it is correct and make changes or add information, if you wish to
- Ask you to sign your statement, confirming you agree with it
- Tell you about the Witness Service if the case is likely to go to court (Please see separate section about the Witness Service under further advice and support for witnesses)
- Tell you when the defendant has been charged and if they have been released on bail or held in custody
- Appoint a Witness Care Officer from the Witness Care Unit, if the case goes to court. (Please see separate section ‘What happens if my case goes to court’)
The Witness Charter explains what you can expect from the police and all agencies in the criminal justice system.
An easy-to-read version of the Witness Charter can be read here.
If you are a victim of crime, as well as a witness help and adive can be found in the victim section.