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Advice for witnesses

What is the investigation process?

Once a crime has been reported, a police officer will carry out an initial investigation. This will always happen, regardless of the type of crime and however the crime has been recorded.

Will I be kept informed about the investigation?

Yes, the officer in your case will agree with you when and how often you will be updated, this includes which method, for example if you have requested to be update via email or a telephone call. You can be informed on significant updates and when the offender has been found, arrested or charged.

Will I have to give a statement?

You might be asked to give a statement to a police officer, yes. You have an important role to play in bringing offenders to justice and giving a statement is vital as it forms part of the evidence the police will need to collect and use if the case goes to court.

Will I have to go to court?

If the offender is charged to appear at court following a thorough investigation, and you have given a statement as a victim or witness then yes, you might have to go to court. The Witness Care Unit at North Yorkshire Police will inform you if this is the case.

Witness care unit

The team can offer you practical support to help with your attendance at court and, if you are the victim of crime, the Witness Care Unit will keep you updated about any significant hearings as the case progresses through the court.

If you are asked to be a witness in a trial or hearing in court, you play a vital part in delivering justice. Before the courts can find someone guilty or not guilty of a crime, they need to hear and consider the evidence – and witnesses are the people who provide this crucial evidence.

What care will be provided if I have to give evidence in court?

The service

  • A single point of contact for victims and witnesses going to court
  • A full needs assessment for victims and witnesses with particular support needs, to ensure they are able to get to court and give their best evidence
  • A dedicated team of witness care officers to guide and support you through the criminal justice process, they will outline the benefits of using Special Measures and the Victim Personal Statement in court
  • Co-ordinate support and services
  • Continuous review of victim and witness needs throughout the case
  • Communication with victims about the outcome of the case or trial result and the offer of post case support from the relevant support agency

What do all Witness Care Units have to do?

Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, which came into force on 3 April 2006, all Witness Care Units have a legal obligation to:

  • Tell you if you will be required to give evidence
  • Tell you the dates of the court hearings
  • Provide guidance as to what to expect at court
  • Tell victims about court results and explain any sentence given as soon as practicable from receiving the outcome from the court

Contact the Witness Care Unit

We are open Monday to Thursday between 8:00am and 17:00pm and Friday between the times of 8:00am  and 16:30pm. Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for Witness Care Unit.