Helping you give your best evidence
If you’re going to be a witness in court the judge or magistrates might grant you extra help to give evidence. These Special Measures are normally arranged for witnesses who:
- are intimidated or vulnerable, eg under 18
- have experienced a serious crime
Special Measures can include:
- putting screens or curtains around you in the courtroom so you can’t see the suspect
- giving your evidence by live video link, so you don’t have to sit in the courtroom
- getting the judge and lawyers to take off their wigs and gowns
- having your statement recorded on video to be played to the courtroom
- asking the public to leave the courtroom while you give evidence
- getting specialist help to understand questions and communicate answers through Registered Intermediaries
If you're particularly worried or afraid, you can also ask the investigating police officer or Witness Care Unit (WCU) for extra help.
Other help in court
If you're coming to court to give evidence you can get emotional and practical support from the Witness Service. It's based at the court and works closely with the police and WCU.
The WCU can help arrange for you to visit the court building before the trial starts.
You may also be able to sit separately and use a different door to the defendant and their supporters, where possible.