Rape victims in Hertfordshire can now give evidence via video link
PUBLISHED: 11:05 23 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:11 23 March 2016
Rape victims in Hertfordshire can now give evidence without needing to attend court in person.
Hertfordshire Constabulary secured funding to purchase and install a remote video link suite in Hertfordshire, so that rape victims will be protected from the potentially traumatic experience of giving evidence in court.
One of the main barriers to rape victims proceeding with their case is reluctance to go to court to give evidence, but the new equipment will mean they do not have to be in the same room as the defendant during court proceedings.
DCI Fiona Gaskell, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime and Safeguarding Command, said: “This is a significant step in improving services for victims and bringing offenders to justice, as it gives vulnerable victims and witnesses the opportunity to present their experiences at court, from a protective and supported environment.
“Victims often tell us that they don’t want to go to court to give evidence as it is not an easy experience for anyone.
“We hope that this facility will support victims and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “Utilising this technology for rape victims is the latest development in our LiveLink network, which allows victims and witnesses, including police officers, to share evidence in circumstances that offer protection and convenience sensitive to their needs.”
Hertfordshire police also launched the ‘We Can Stop It’ awareness campaign in November, along with website www.simpleastea.com, to help people understand consent, which is an issue in around 80 per cent of the police’s rape investigations.