Norwich courts to allow rape victims to give pre-recorded video evidence

Norwich Crown Court

Pre-recorded video evidence for vulnerable victims is to be introduced at Norwich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

Measures allowing rape victims to give pre-recorded evidence are to be rolled out to Norwich courts by the end of the year.

The scheme, which is already operating at 26 crown courts, allows vulnerable victims and witnesses of sexual crimes and modern slavery to have their cross-examination taped.

Recordings take place as close to the time of the offence as possible, while memories remain fresh, and help victims avoid the trauma of giving evidence.

The Department for Justice said it would be introduced at Norwich Crown Court from September.

Minister for tackling violence against women and girls Victoria Atkins

Minister for tackling violence against women and girls Victoria Atkins - Credit: UK Parliament

Minister for tackling violence against women and girls, Victoria Atkins, said: “This measure is a key part of our plan to overhaul the justice system’s response to rape - minimising stress for victims and helping them to provide the best possible evidence.”

Norfolk chief constable Paul Sanford has said more needed to be done to increase rape and sexual offence conviction rates and provide better support to victims.

Just under half of all women who reported rapes in Norfolk in 2020 later withdrew from the process while 24pc of cases fell through because of evidential difficulties.