§ Mr. Rooker
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will bring forward proposals to meet the problems of witnesses fearing intimidation in the waiting areas of court houses.
Mr. John. M Taylor
This Department recognises the concern witnesses may have about the fear of intimidation and has taken steps to minimise the risk. The court standards and design guide makes provision for one courtroom witness suite per Crown court centre, and similar arrangements are made for new magistrates courts, with the provision of multi-purpose suites. Approximately 40 per cent. of existing Crown court centres already provide separate and exclusive witness waiting areas. Where these are not available, special arrangements can be made to ensure that, as far as possible, intimidation does not occur.