Digital platform for victims and witnesses launched by COPFS

 An initiative to digitally transform how victims and witnesses in criminal cases can access information and guidance relevant to them online has been launched by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).   

COPFS has recently began piloting Witness Gateway, an online secure solution. This will, for the first time, allow witnesses and victims to access their witness statements, information and receive updates relating to the cases they are affected by online.  COPFS is adopting a phased approach to the pilot.  Following successful testing and evaluation, it is anticipated that Witness Gateway will be expanded by COPFS with a managed roll out across the country throughout 2024. 

Witness Gateway will support more efficient online interactions between the public and prosecutors, and is designed based on users' needs.  It will reduce the need for victims and witnesses to travel to COPFS offices in person and enhance their direct access to case information. 

Benefits of the platform for victims and witnesses include improving their access to information relevant to them on their own devices, whilst allowing them to complete processes at times and places which suits them best. 

“The launch of this pilot is a significant milestone in our work to make improvements to the services available to victims and witnesses. 

Jennifer Harrower, Deputy Crown Agent

"Witness Gateway will allow victims and others involved in criminal cases to feel more engaged and better equipped to access justice through the easing of provision of information to and from COPFS.  

 “COPFS will continue to invest in the expansion and development of this accessible project.  Already the pilot - which began this month - has received positive responses from victims and witnesses.”  

“COPFS is committed to playing our part in increasing the confidence of victims in the criminal justice system through on-going modernisation of services and investment in digital enabled change.”