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Witnesses: Older People

Attorney General written question – answered on 15th February 2017.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Attorney General, what steps he is taking to ensure that the CPS deal sensitively with elderly witnesses who are afraid of giving evidence in court.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

For elderly people who are vulnerable or intimidated, the CPS supports them as witnesses to give the best evidence that they can. The CPS does this by applying for special measures to, for example, allow them to give evidence by video link, or behind screens. The CPS can also apply for the use of an intermediary and/or communication aids to assist the witness.

The CPS published a policy statement and guidance on prosecuting crimes against older people in 2009. The CPS has committed to updating both documents during 2017 to take into account the larger numbers of older people in society and changes to the nature of crime, such as on-line fraud targeting. The revised guidance and policy statement will address the support available to older victims of crime. The policy statement will be subject to a public consultation to ensure that the CPS considers the views of interested parties.

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