Help for witnesses

It is not unusual for people to feel anxious about giving evidence in court.

Before and during the trial you can get free help and support from the Citizens Advice witness service, which is separate from the police, the Witness Care Unit and the Crown Prosecution Service.

How the witness service can help

The Witness Service has trained volunteers who will help you before you go to court. You can talk to them in confidence (though they’re not allowed to discuss your evidence with you) and they’ll make sure you get all the information and support you need, either from them or from other organisations.
There will be a volunteer at the court on the day too, so even if you don’t want any help in advance, they’ll be there to offer support if you need it.

They can arrange for you to visit the court before the trial, so you know what to expect on the day and you’ll have an opportunity to ask them any questions.

They’ll be there on the day of the trial to keep you updated and help with any problems. If you like, they can go into the court with you, so you won’t be alone.

Contact the witness service

When you gave your statement to the police, they may have told you about the witness service and asked if you’d like them to get in touch with you. If this is the case, one of their staff or volunteers will call you 3 to 4 weeks before the trial.

If you said no at the time, but have changed your mind, you can still get support at any time before or during the trial – just ask the police or your witness care officer to let the Witness Service know, or you can contact them yourself on 0300 332 1000. You can also get support from the witness service by completing their on-line form . They’ll get back to you within 2 working days.

Visit the Witness Service website: