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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220843 
Title: Victims and Witnesses in Criminal Investigations (From Handbook of Criminal Investigation, P 450-465, 2007, Tim Newburn, Tom Williamson, and Alan Wright, eds. -- See NCJ-220829)
Author(s): Nicholas Fyfe; Kevin Smith
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview; Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This chapter assesses the impact and implications for criminal investigation of recent significant changes in British policy and practices regarding how witnesses are treated within the criminal justice system.
Abstract: The authors argue that the vital role played by witnesses (both victims and nonvictims) hinges not just on how the police interact with witnesses during an investigation, but also on witnesses' broader experience of the criminal justice process as a whole. It is this wide context of witnesses' experiences that influences whether a person is willing to be a witness on another occasion. The chapter first reviews some key findings of research regarding why people decide to become, or not to become, a witness. This highlights some of the key challenges faced by the criminal justice system in providing appropriate support and protection for witnesses. The chapter shows that these challenges have only recently been addressed, as it traces the history of how witnesses have in the past been "the forgotten soul" of the criminal justice system. The chapter then uses the findings of evaluative research in assessing the impacts and implications of recent initiatives designed to encourage witnesses to come forward and assist police investigations and deliver evidence in court. 23 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Foreign police; Police-victim interaction; Victim-witness legislation; Victim-witness programs
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