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Courts: Victims and Witnesses

Volume 630: debated on Tuesday 31 October 2017

We are investing over £1 billion to bring our courts into the 21st century, to make them more sensitive to victims and witnesses and to deliver swifter and more effective justice.

I am grateful to the Minister for that response. What can be done to ensure that the courtroom environment and the wider environment of the court building itself help to put victims and witnesses at ease, and support them through the process of giving evidence?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that we need to reduce the stress and trauma experienced by victims and witnesses. We are doing a range of things. First, we are establishing model waiting rooms for victims and witnesses so that they will feel less stressed and more comfortable, meaning that they are more likely to give compelling evidence. Secondly, in the courtroom itself, we are rolling out section 28 measures for pre-recorded cross-examination to Crown courts nationally. This autumn, we will extend that to victims of sexual offences or modern slavery offences in Leeds, Liverpool and Kingston upon Thames.