The UK Home Office Research to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Measures to Assist Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses: Phase One Results

Roger Evans, Liverpool John Moores University
Andrew Sanders, Manchester University
Jenny Turtle, British Market Research Bureau Internatl

Following the inter-departmental report Speaking Up For Justice the UK government introduced a series of administrative and legislative measures to better enable vulnerable and intimidated witnesses (VIW's) to give best evidence in court. The legislative measures are contained in the 1999 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act. The Home Office funded research reported on here consists of a before and after study of the effectiveness of the special measures. It comprises a national survey of VIW's conducted by BMRB and an evaluation of the measures by Evans and Sanders. This paper reports on the findings of the survey and evaluation from the before phase of the study and describes the research strategy for the after phase. It identifies some of the main issues for witnesses and for criminal justice agencies including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Witness Service and the Courts.

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Updated 05/20/2006