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Witness Service

Going To Court?- Information for all witnesses and victims going to court.

Going to court as a witness.
Attending court as a witness can be a worrying experience.  The following details tell you how to get helpful information and support.  You can get in touch at any time before, during or after attending court.

The Witness Service Can Help You
"They told me how the system works and where I fitted in"
"They took time to explain what was going to happen and who was who.  They also told me what might happen"
"They arranged for me to see round a court before the trial and it really helped"
"Most of all they were there for me and maybe the trial was over but they understood that it wasn't for me"

Support outside the court arena
The Witness Service is run by Victim Support Scotland, the national voluntary organisation providing emotional support, practical assistance and information to crime victims via a network of community based services throughout Scotland.  Staff and volunteers from the Witness Service will be happy to give details of your local Victim support area service.
Alternatively contact Victim Support Scotland directly on local call rate number 0845 603 9213

Witness Service
The Witness Service exists to help people through the judicial process by providing practical and emotional support.
The facility is set up in the court building and is confidential, and provided by trained volunteers.
The service is free and available to ALL witnesses attending court regardless of age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability or social class.

The service will support:
victims and witnesses who are called to court
 - victims and witnesses who are not called to court
 - families and friends of victims and witnesses

The Witness Service offers:
 - a court based service
 - practical help, eg with expense forms
 - information on court procedures
 - a pre-court visit
 - to listen to concerns / anxieties
 - emotional support
 - to be available after giving evidence
 - to put you in touch with people who can answer specific questions about your case
 - to provide guidance regarding further support from other agencies if required 
 - someone to talk to in confidence
 - trained volunteers to help you during your time at court

The Witness Service does not:
 - ever discuss evidence
 - provide nursing care
 - provide baby sitting facilities
 - provide taxi facilities

If you are attending court you may find it helpful to bring:
- a friend or relative (it is best to give notice in advance that you are bringing someone with you)
 - any information you have regarding the case, eg the name of the police officer dealing with the case
 - the citation if you have received one
 - something to read or do as there may be delays to the case and you may have to wait a long time
 - money for your lunch, refreshments, bus fare home, car parking etc

If you are called to court as a witness you can claim your expenses such as:
- travel to and from court
 - essential child care
 - loss of earnings
The Witness Service can provide you with more information and assistance in claiming expenses

Translation Services
The Witness Service can arrange a translation service if you are not an English speaker

The Witness Service can be contacted at any time before, during or after attending court at -
Witness Service
Dingwall Sheriff Court
Ferry Road
IV15 9QX
Tel 01349 863535

Victim Support Scotland
15/23 Hardwell close
Tel 0131 668 4486
Fax 0131 662 5400
Email witnesssservice@victimsupportglw.demon.co.uk
Web site www.victimsupport.org