Chilean justice system recognises status of Avon and Somerset's Witness Care Unit

02/12/2009

Avon and Somerset's Witness Care Unit played host to delegates from the Chilean Criminal Justice System as they sought to discover more about witness care.

Following a period of Criminal Justice reform in Chile, they are looking at ways to improve victim and witness care. The Chileans regard England and Wales as exemplars of best practice in witness care and when visiting this country in order to gain knowledge and experience, it was Avon and Somerset's Witness Care Unit they chose.

Barry Hughes, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Avon and Somerset said: "We were delighted to be visited by Mauricio Godoy and Marcelo Tapio on their fact-finding mission on witness care. It is testament to the excellent work of the CPS and police staff in the Witness Care Unit that Avon and Somerset was their chosen Area."

The Chilean party spent two days in Avon and Somerset, meeting staff from the Witness Care Unit, the Police Criminal Justice Department, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Witness Service, the Crown Court and the local Criminal Justice Board.

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Notes for editors

For further information, contact CPS South West Press Office on 0117 930 1343 or 0117 930 1344

The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
  • Preparing cases for court
  • Presenting cases at court

The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk

The CPS South West Group consists of the areas Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and Gloucestershire.