Saturday, July 05, 2008

making a statement to the police & what can happen next

When you make a statement to the police your personal details go at the top. If you are a victim or a witness, the offender's lawyer can take a copy of the statement and your personal details are then open to the offender's family. They can then phone and harrass witnesses and victims to try and make them change their minds or drop charges.

This is illegal but most people do not know their rights. I have been involved in a case recently when a witness has been so frightened by phone calls and harrassment. She did not know she was protected by the law (to a certain extent) and could go to the police and complain and they will bring in those who are bothering her and make them sign a pledge not to do so again.

I know that this is not an absolute solution but at least one can feel slightly protected and those who are bothering you know what they are doing is illegal and that they can face prison. I think personal details should not be given to the opposing lawyer. I have not discovered the law yet that says that these details have to be shown on the front page. I would like to see them put on the backs of statements (like in many other countries) so when photo copying the papers these details are hidden. T

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