Your case and Covid-19

"No victim or witness will be forgotten about."

The following video message from Stephen Herron, the Director of Public Prosecutions, posted on 20th March 2020, explains how the PPS is responding to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. 

Information for victims and witnesses

During this difficult time, the PPS is continuing to work closely with other criminal justice organisations to ensure that the necessary steps are being taken to ensure public safety in the conduct of criminal proceedings.

This will likely have a direct impact on our work including being able to conduct key business at court, including trials.

If a trial is postponed

If you are a victim or witness in a trial which needs to be postponed, we will make every effort to contact you directly to inform you of this in advance. We understand that this may cause you distress at an already difficult time. We can assure you that we will continue to work closely with all organisations to ensure that the trial will go ahead once we receive advice that it is safe to do so.

If the case has not reached court

For those victims whose cases are yet to reach the stage of a trial, we will endeavour to continue to provide you with updates at key points during the progress of your case. Please note that progress may not be at the same pace through the system as would normally be the case, therefore key updates may be less frequent.

Notification of a sentence

If you are a victim in a case in which you are awaiting notification of the sentence for the defendant(s), we will advise of the outcome of that hearing as and when notified by the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service.

Awaiting a decision

If you are waiting for the outcome of a PPS decision on a case, or if you have requested a review of a PPS decision, please note that decision-making work is continuing. However, this may be subject to the available resources. You will be informed when there is an outcome by our Victim and Witness Care Unit.

Support for you

We work with Victim Support NI and the NSPCC's Young Witness Service, who provide emotional and practical support to people who have been affected by crime. It is important you contact Victim Support NI directly if you would like their support. They can be contacted on 02890 243133 (Belfast) or 02871 370086 (Foyle) or on their website. The NSPCC Young Witness Service can be contacted on 02893 441947 or at their website.  

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact the Victim and Witness Care Unit on 02890 264690 (Belfast) or 02871 340632 (Foyle).

Defence practioners

Notice for Defence practitioners
Defence practitioners should read the notice with information for contacting the PPS during the pandemic.