A new court protocol has been agreed to help victims of domestic violence during cases in Northamptonshire.
The agreement, which has been accepted “all agencies” which take part in all cases at the specialist domestic abuse court at Northampton Magistrates’ Court, should reduce delays and speed up cases.
Northamptonshire Police say the changes will result in victims and witnesses getting more support on the day of a trial, during the case preparation and after sentence.
They will be kept well informed at each stage of the criminal court proceedings.
The launch follows last week’s campaign to encourage victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to report offences.
Deputy head of Northamptonshire Police’s justice department, Andrew Wilson, said: “I am confident that adherence to this protocol will ensure that victims and witnesses of domestic violence will be better supported at every stage of the criminal justice process and that this will continue after sentencing.
“Delays will be reduced and the whole process of going through the criminal justice system will be speeded up. It’s incredibly difficult for victims and witnesses to report these types of offences and the last thing they need are delays.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds added: “I welcome this new protocol which means a better deal for victims and that their needs and safety are met, in line with the ethos of the Victims’ Voice report.
“Offenders will be more swiftly brought to justice with these new measures to hold those guilty of domestic abuse accountable by addressing repeat offending, ensuring compliance with court orders and by prompt and effective breach proceedings.”