Witnessing a crime can be a difficult and often frightening situation. However, reporting it can help ensure that those responsible are punished for it. In order to do this, you may need to give a witness statement and in this article, we are going to look at what you should be aware of while giving a witness statement.
What it consists of
When giving to a court, a witness statement will start with the name of the case and claim number. You will then give your name and address, set out evidence on marked paragraphs before finishing with the statement “I believe the facts in this statement are true”, before finally signing and dating it to make this official. If a witness is under the age of 18 then it is important that this is also included. Also in an instance where a witness cannot read a statement that has been written down for them, an officer should read it back to them before they sign it.
What to include
The most important thing when writing a statement is only including what you know or personally witnessed yourself. Do not include any other gossip or speculation, as that is not relevant to your own personal experience and that is what people want to hear.
Ideally you should be able to include any specific dates of incidents that happened. If you are a witness to something that happened in an employment tribunal then you should discuss the time you worked there, your role and include any documents that might be relevant.
Can you refuse?
You are not obligated to provide a witness statement if you don’t want to. It is also possible that you can discuss with an officer what you saw, without putting it officially on the record. An officer should not coerce you into providing statements, but it is their duty to explain why they feel it is important, and it is up to you to decide if you want to help.
We can help
If you are concerned about giving a witness statement but are not sure what you want to say or what is relevant to the case then please talk to us. As an experienced firm Larcomes has helped many clients over the years, and we can help you to distinguish between what is and is not relevant to the case, so that you can prepare something appropriate. In the case of any employment disputes, we can go look at specific details that should be included, as well as any relevant documents that you may need to find copies of to include as part of the statement.
Our motto has always been ‘big enough to specialise, small enough to care’ While having resources is important, we also understand that this can be difficult and stressful as well. If you want to talk about this in more detail, please contact one of our specialist legal representatives, who will be happy to look at your particular circumstances and guide you through this.