HC Deb 19 June 2002 vol 387 cc427-8W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the policy is of the Court Service on the treatment of children as witnesses in criminal cases. [60857]

Ms Rosie Winterton

I understand the hon. Member is concerned about the position in Northern Ireland. The Court Service there gives special consideration to child witnesses in accordance with the Courts' Charter for Northern Ireland. A range of facilities are provided at main court venues including separate child-friendly waiting rooms and live television links that enable children to give their evidence without having to enter courtrooms. The Court Service has also facilitated the work of the Young Witness Service pilot scheme provided by the NSPCC, and will participate in the roll-out of that scheme to additional court venues in due course.