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Witness Intimidation

Volume 264: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken to prevent intimidation and harassment of witnesses (a) before, (b) during and (c) after completion of trials. [37971]

The Government have introduced provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which make it an offence to intimidate a witness, juror or someone assisting the police. The relevant section, section 51, came into force on 3 February this year.Responsibility for the protection and relocation of witnesses rests with the police. They will consider in each case the degree of intimidation and assess the capability of those making the threats to carry them out.