NSPCC: 'More work needed' to support young witnesses

A pilot scheme that will allow victims and witnesses to give eveidence ahead of criminal trials will not necessarily make the system as child-friendly as it could be, the NSPCC's head of corporate affairs has said. Alan Wardle added:

We welcome the pilot and hope it paves the way for more children to be spared the ordeal of having to give live evidence in court. The pilot will not necessarily make the system as child-friendly as it could be, but is a positive step - offering children the opportunity to give their evidence and be cross examined in advance of the trial and sparing them the often lengthy wait for a court date which can cause unnecessary anxiety.

However, there is still more work to be done to ensure all young witnesses are supported by a justice system that is truly fit for children.

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'Evidence ahead of trial' pilot scheme to be rolled out

A pilot scheme which allows victims and witnesses to give evidence ahead of criminal trials starts tomorrow.