Extra support in the courtroom
The court may be able to take extra steps to protect you if you:
- are under 18
- have a mental or physical disability
- are afraid to give evidence
- are a victim of a sexual offence
- are a victim of other serious crimes, such as domestic violence or attempted murder
These steps are called ‘special measures’ and include:
- screens, so the defendant cannot see you
- giving evidence by video link from somewhere else (the defendant will be able to see you)
- asking the public to leave the courtroom when you give evidence, if the case is about a sexual offence
- recording your evidence in front of a camera before the trial
- having someone explain the questions and help you reply to the court (an ‘intermediary’)
- providing communication aids for you or others to use, such as symbols or alphabet boards
- having members of the court not wear their formal wigs and gowns to make you feel more at ease
How to get extra support
If you’re the victim or a prosecution witness, speak to your witness care officer or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
If you’re a defence witness, speak to the defence lawyer.
The trial judge will then decide what support will be made available to you.