Appeal for volunteers to help witnesses in Northampton courts

Northampton Crown Court

Northampton Crown Court

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The Witness Service is appealing for volunteers to help with their work in Northampton with people who are called as witnesses in court cases.

Being a victim of, or witnessing a crime can be a highly stressful and emotional time and attending court can be a worrying experience.

The Witness Service can be there to help the witness understand the process, make sure they know where they need to go and explain the procedures in ‘normal’ language. They can also introduce the witness to the people they are going to be dealing with.

There may also be a chance to visit the court in advance so it will not be so unknown to the witness on trial day.

In the majority of criminal courts across England, the national charity Citizens Advice have members of staff running a team of well trained, professional people who can help witnesses in this way.

The day-to-day service is undertaken by volunteers who take great pride in their roles. They provide the service to both defence and prosecution witnesses and have good working relationships with solicitors, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), HMCTS (Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service) staff and the police whilst maintaining an independent and non judgemental presence within the formal environment of a courthouse.

Anyone who is going to be a witness in a trial and would like to know more about the service the organisation provides, or anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Witness Service, can give them a call. The Witness Service in Northamptonshire are currently looking for new members to join their team, particularly in Northampton Magistrates and Crown Courts. For more information, call Linda on 0300 332 1290 or Mel on 0300 332 1291 or get in touch via email at ​northampton.mc@citizensadvice.org.uk​ .