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Additional court support for victims and witnesses welcomed amid Covid delays

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A drive to recruit additional staff in the North East to support victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system has been welcomed by police and community safety leaders.

A Registered Intermediary (RI) is a self-employed communication specialist who helps vulnerable witnesses and complainants to give evidence to the police and to the court in criminal trials.

Last week the Ministry of Justice announced they will be recruiting an additional 24 Intermediaries to cover the Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police force areas.

It’s hoped the specialist support will enable those that otherwise may not be heard to provide their best evidence and to ensure vulnerable people have access to justice.

The news has been welcomed by leaders of Cleveland and Durham Local Criminal Justice Partnership – which brings together representatives from the police, probation, prisons, courts and victim services to improve processes for victims and encourage the rehabilitation of offenders.

Co-Chair and Acting Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Lisa Oldroyd said: “We’re passionate about ensuring that no one slips through the cracks and misses out on justice simply because they didn’t feel supported when providing evidence.

“Navigating the criminal justice system is a worrying prospect for anyone and factoring in delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we think this is the right step by the Ministry of Justice to make justice accessible to all.”

Co-Chair and Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner Steve White said: “I am keen to support this further recruitment, both to raise awareness of the intermediary role in the  justice system and to ensure that the service is available to all who need this support.

“Recently my Office has worked closely with our local intermediaries and partners to produce resources which support this vital communication specialist work across the region. The ‘Intermediaries for Justice’ website gives access to these resources as well as providing more information about their role and the support available.”

The Intermediaries for Justice website can be assessed here: https://www.intermediaries-for-justice.org/

More information about the roles can be found on the Civil Service jobs website: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1694122

Posted on Tuesday 17th November 2020
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