Sunday, 29 June 2008

Protection of witnesses halts murder trials

Due to the quashing of a double conviction last week because of the anonymity afforded to one of the prosecution witnesses, we could see hundreds of appeals for the overturning of sentences where evidence is given by those too frightened to face the defendant in a court of law.
The victims code of practice here set out the rights of victims and witnesses and the measures which can / should be taken to protect them.
Hopefully this will not lead to a downturn of people willing to give evidence, but that seems like wishful thinking really! There have been a spate of reports about witness intimidation in recent months, and how many would be comfortable putting themselves or their property at risk to be a good citizen.
There must be kudos given to the hundreds of people in the UK that take a stand against crime and antisocial behaviour, putting themselves at risk of reprisal because they are saddened by the deterioration of their communities and wish to make a real difference. These are the (mostly) unsung hero's who work tirelessly in the background involving themselves in community groups, charities & neighbourhood watch groups. There should be more networking established between these individuals / groups because when people stand together their voices are heard more than a lone voice whispering in the wind. If any readers are interested in sharing views there is a link here

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