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Antisocial Behaviour: Criminal Proceedings

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government have taken to provide support to victims and witnesses of antisocial behaviour before, during and after relevant court proceedings. (162985)

The Home Office is responsible for the policy on antisocial behaviour. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 introduced special measures for witnesses in proceedings for antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs). These measures were introduced to address concerns about the protection of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. The measures include screening witnesses from the defendants, giving evidence through video link or in private, and the use of video recorded evidence. This makes it easier for witnesses to give evidence in the Crown and magistrates court during an ASBO hearing. Special dedicated antisocial behaviour response courts have been established in magistrates courts sitting in their civil capacity to ensure that witness issues are addressed. Local agencies have also developed efficient case management systems which includes working in partnership with key agencies to provide support to victims after court proceedings. In addition the Home Office has issued a good practice guide to practitioners on how best to support victims and witnesses of antisocial behaviour through the whole length of the witness pathway. A range of detailed guidance is set out on our website at: