Justice Minister David Ford visited a new court remote link facility in Lisburn funded by revenue from offenders through the Victims of Crime Fund.
Remote links allow young or vulnerable or intimidated adult witnesses to give their evidence away from the court. Studies have shown that this reduces anxiety about entering the courthouse and also about the risk of encountering the defendant at court.
David Ford said: “I am committed, through the victim and witness strategy, to improving the experience of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process. In 2013-14 £208,264 was received from the Offender Levy which has been directed through the Victims of Crime Fund to projects that help achieve this goal.
“This new remote link facility in Lisburn is a clear example of how proceeds from offenders can be successfully used to help victims and witnesses by removing the fear of giving evidence in court. Such facilities play a key role in allowing young witnesses, or vulnerable or intimidated adult witnesses, to give their evidence outside of a court building. This reduces the stress and intimidation that may occur from having to attend court, enabling such witnesses to give better evidence.”