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Crown Prosecution Service Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2010 - 2011

Victims and Witnesses

Victims and witnesses play a central role in the prosecution process. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recognises that it relies on the evidence of victims and witnesses to deliver successful prosecutions and ensure justice is done.

During the year work was undertaken to deliver performance improvements in the joint CPS/police Witness Care Units in supporting victims and witnesses, based on a recommendation in the 2009 'Report of a Joint [* note] Thematic Review of Victim and Witness Experiences in the Criminal Justice System'.

[* note] Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Court Administration, Her Majesty's CPS Inspectorate and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Our legal guidance in respect of the Direct Communication with Victims scheme was updated to provide a greater focus on the quality of communications and best practice.

In 2011-12 we will continue work to review the service we give to victims and witnesses: clarifying the offer we make to them; improving our guidance to our prosecutors on victim and witness issues; and improving the delivery mechanisms so that we can focus our service on those in greatest need. We will also exploit opportunities from T3, making better use of technology in the Witness Care Units, ensuring a service that is more proportionate and better focused on those victims and witnesses most in need and those that are vulnerable.