If you are required to attend court as a witness for the prosecution we will pay travel and subsistence expenses and compensation to witnesses for loss of earnings in attending court, subject to daily capped rates.
In order to claim expenses, you must complete a Witness Expenses Claim Form. This form will be sent to you when you are invited to attend court. You can read guidance on completing this form, and our full Victim & Witness Expenses Policy by clicking the appropriate links below.
Please note that witnesses and other concerned parties are free to attend court on any day that they wish. However, we will only pay expenses for the days on which the witnesses have been required to attend at the request of the PPS.
If you are unsure about any aspect of completing an expenses claim as a prosecution witness, you can speak to the PPS court witness helpdesk.
- PPS court witness helpdesk telephone: 0845 300 5770
In addition, your case officer from the Victim and Witness Care Unit will answer any queries you have around expenses and the other services we offer. If required, your case officer can book travel (flights, hotels etc.) on your behalf to save you from incurring these costs and then reclaiming them.
The VWCU will assist in determining what services and expenses are available to you, and can help you claim back expenses.
Contact details for your case officer can be found on the Victim and Witness Care Unit page.
Types of witnesses
There are two main witness types:
- Ordinary Witness (including Victims) – this applies to all witnesses other than those giving evidence in a professional capacity;
- Professional Witness – a witness giving evidence in a professional capacity as part of their previous involvement in the case such as a family doctor
Expenses and other services may also be available to those who wish to attend court to support witnesses who are considered vulnerable or intimidated. This includes the parents or guardians of witnesses under the age of 18.
You can read further information in our vulnerable and intimidated witnesses section.
How to claim witness expenses
When you are invited to attend court, you will be sent a witness expense claim form by the Victim and Witness Care Unit.
You should read the witness expenses claim form guidance before completing the form. A hard copy of this guidance will also be sent to you.
If you have to make travel arrangements to attend court, or have any other questions about claiming expenses, you should contact your VWCU case officer. Click the link for more information on contacting the VWCU.
You should record on the witness expenses claim form the days that you are required to attend court. At the conclusion of the court case these forms should be signed by a PPS or Police representative in the court to verify your attendance.
If this is not possible it will not prevent a claim form being paid as PPS can use alternative means of verification but it may delay payment.
Once the form is completed, it should be returned to the following addresses:Freepost RLUJ-RBZL-SBXT Public Prosecution Service Finance Branch Belfast Chambers 93 Chichester Street Belfast BT1 3JR Tel: 0845 300 5770
Expenses are based on pre-determined rates which are consistent with those paid in England and Wales. Further details on rates of expenses are available in the witness expenses claim form guidance.