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'I welcome HMCTS’ initiative to enhance the victim and witness room facilities across the court estate. I am looking forward to seeing the pilot rooms and very much hope that they will set the standard for victims’ facilities in all court rooms across the country. The court process can be a traumatic experience for victims and any attempt to make this environment less impersonal and more comfortable is most definitely a positive step.Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:
I am looking forward to seeing how the remodelled rooms can provide a change for victims and hope they will assist victims and witnesses to have a better experience of the court process.'
'Giving evidence in court can be a difficult and stressful experience so it is crucial that witnesses are supported to perform their invaluable role.This is on top of a range of measures the Government has put in place to help reduce the anxiety of attending court, including giving evidence behind a screen and the use of a registered intermediary. In criminal courts, the government is driving the increased use of video links – meaning more vulnerable victims can give evidence away from the court room and without having to meet their attacker face to face.
It’s our role as the Witness Service to provide information and support to help people feel as comfortable and confident as possible when giving evidence. We know all too well that even small changes to make waiting areas more comfortable can make big differences to a witness’s experience - providing a welcoming space for child witnesses is particularly important.'