Special Measures

In certain circumstances the CPS can apply for 'special measures' at court to support a vulnerable or intimidated witness and help them give their evidence in the best way possible. The court will then decide whether to allow special measures to be arranged.
Examples of special measures:

  • Putting up a screen so you and the defendant cannot see each other
  • Giving evidence by video link instead of in person in the courtroom
  • Giving video recorded evidence

More details about Special Measures

Victims and Witnesses

Victims and witnesses are at the heart of the criminal justice system.  Without their help in coming forward to report crime and give evidence it can be difficult for us to achieve a successful prosecution and bring an offender to justice.

Being a victim or a witness to a crime and giving evidence in court is not easy.  We appreciate that the process can be daunting, especially if you've never encountered the criminal justice system before.  That's why the work of our Witness Care Units to support and help victims and witnesses is crucial.

Witness Care Units

We have a number of Witness Care Units across the CPS North West Area - staffed by witness care officers from the CPS and the police.  They provide support for all victims and witnesses involved in cases that are going through the court process.

If you are a witness in a case that is proceeding at court you will be contacted by a witness care officer who will support and guide you through the whole process until the case is concluded.

Your witness care officer will:

  • update you on court dates and what is happening with the case
  • answer your questions about the criminal justice system
  • reassure you about all aspects of attending court if you need to give evidence
  • arrange a pre-court visit if you would like one, so you can have a look around court before you give evidence
  • arrange for you to receive extra support from Victim Support or another voluntary organisation if you would like that
  • arrange any support you need if you have a disability
  • tell you about any 'special measures' which may be available to help you in court
  • help you arrange child care so that you can attend court
  • help with transport arrangements if necessary, particularly if you have to travel a long distance to court.

We want your experience of giving evidence to be as stress-free as possible.  Your witness care officer is there to help you if you have a problem or a concern about attending court. It is important to advise the witness care officer at the earliest opportunity of any difficulties you have in attending court. This allows enough time for arrangements to be made for you.

You can find more information about being a witness at court and the support available for victims and witnesses on our national website.

Victims' Right to Review

If a Crown Prosecutor decides not to bring charges, discontinues proceedings or offers no evidence in a case, you have a right to request that we review that decision under the Victims' Right to Review scheme.  Details of how to request such a review can be found on the main CPS website.

Please note that the scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after 5 June 2013.