Support for Victims and Witnesses is Vital: PPS

28 March 2007

The role of victims and witnesses in crime investigation and prosecution is vital to the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and the Public Prosecution Service is committed to supporting them in this crucial responsibility. 
In a policy statement, launched today at the opening of the new Ballymena Chambers, the PPS set out the types of assistance and information that victims and witnesses can expect from them, with a focus on minimising the disruption and upset they may experience. 
Speaking at the opening of Ballymena Chambers, Acting Director of the PPS Roy Junkin said “The PPS recognises that improving services and support for victims and witnesses is vital to the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.” 
“It is appropriate that our victims policy is launched here today at the opening of Ballymena Chambers where we will provide enhanced services to victims and witnesses in the Northern Region.”  
“The specialist Community Liaison Team based here will provide information to victims and witnesses, check witness availability and in cases where victims request it, make referrals to other specialist support organisations such as NSPCC or Victim Support NI” 
Outlining the role of the Ballymena office, the Acting Director said: “The Ballymena office is part of the continued roll out of the PPS in Northern Ireland and confirms our commitment to provide an independent, fair and effective service which responds to the needs of the community it serves.”  
The new Regional Prosecutor for the Northern Region, Paula Jack, said: “This new regionally based office provides increased accessibility, openness and accountability to the community which it serves and we will actively promote our services to victims and witnesses.”