Best Evidence Policy (4984_14)

Request

1. Please kindly provide copy of WMP Force policy on Acheiving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings.

2.  Please kindly provide Force Policy on dealing with victim witnesses of an alleged crime who attempt to contact and intimidate, harass, blackmail, etc other potential witnesses coerce a supportive statement from them in their favour.

As above in point 2, please provide Force policy on victim witnesses of an alleged crime who attempt to contact and intimidate, harass, blackmail etc potential defendants.

As above in point 2, please provide Force policy on victim witnesses of an alleged crime who attempt to contact and intimidate, blackmail, harass, etc “reluctant witnesses”.

Response

West Midlands Police does not have a specific policy on these areas. For Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings the force uses guidance provided by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

http://www.justice.gov.uk/victims-and-witnesses/vulnerable-intimidated-witnesses-guidance

The MoJ also has data regarding Witness Intimidation, please see the following links:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/victims-and-witnesses/vulnerable-witnesses/achieving-best-evidence-criminal-proceedings.pdf

In respect of question 2, there is no separate policy regarding victim witnesses who attempt to contact and intimidate other witnesses, or potential defendants.  Potentially the victim could still commit other offences such as attempting to pervert the course of justice, harassment, public order offences etc, and would be dealt with as appropriate.  Behaviour such as this might also have an impact on the progress of the original offence being investigated.

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