Protecting adults at risk in London: Good practice resource
Investigating adult abuse: Support for the victim entering the criminal justice process
Criminal justice agencies are required by law to provide minimum standards of service to victims of crime. There is an enhanced service for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses as defined by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. For further information see The code of practice for victims of crime (17).
How witnesses can expect to be treated by the police if they witness a crime or incident is detailed in The witness charter (18). This document also outlines the standard of care required from other criminal justice agencies. Although the Charter is not statutory it does set out provisions that include:
- an initial needs assessment to be conducted by the police, to establish language and communication requirements and enable them to provide the best evidence at court
- identification of special measures for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses
- arrangements for witnesses attending court who have disabilities or medical conditions that mean they need help for them to attend
- provision of communication aids such as intermediaries, signers or interpreters.
Case studies of different types of abuse, and the legal considerations surrounding them, can be found in SCIE’s Safeguarding adults at risk of harm: A legal guide for practitioners (13)