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Is this right. Seems dangerous.

(22 Posts)
allthingsred Fri 22-Mar-19 21:59:48

Trying to keep it simple so not take up a huge post.
I work with homeless people. A few weeks ago a video surfaced in social media showing a crime being commited & asking for info. Myself & collegues all recognised at least 1 person involved as person staying with us.
My superior contacted 101 to say we knew who it was etc.
101 contacted us later to take a statement over telephone.
The info given as all been forwarded to the criminals involved via there solicitors
My name, details of the phone call etc
(Statement not entirely accurate. States I contacted them. Which I didn't it was my boss)
My boss name not mentioned, my colleague only mentioned once, my name at least 3 times even though we gave exact same info. Saying I identified suspect as a name I don't recognise. (I knew him as a different name)
More concerned about the fact these guys have been given my name as a witness against them.
If they were psycho and had my name they could genuinely target me & my family.
I've said I will never give a statement again.
Why would people come forward when police will just tell them who said what anyway?!
Fuming & disgusted. If I'd have known my name was at risk I would never have spoken to them when asked.

parietal Fri 22-Mar-19 22:22:02

seems wrong to me. under GDPR, releasing your name to anyone might be wrong.

but i'm not a lawyer so I hope someone more knowledgeable will opine.

LoisLittsLover Fri 22-Mar-19 22:25:55

The police have to provide concrete statements to the court which thr defendant has a right to challenge.

SD1978 Fri 22-Mar-19 22:50:35

This is why many episodes of violence in hospitals against staff aren't reported. I refuse to have this information given to the person who has assaulted me in the workplace. I'm sorry. Next time I'd contact the police anonymously, or find out if you can put your place of work as your contact adress.

allthingsred Fri 22-Mar-19 22:53:24

I think it's awful.
These guys know they were in wrong & I have to do my job, so accept they are bang to rights.
BUT why on earth would witnesses come forward if it means having there names out there for perpetrators to see?
Like me going forward. it will absolutely put people off coming forward in future
I still have to go into it with them for saying I approached them.
I didn't, my boss said myself & collegue had identified person. But I didn't make the initial call etc.
I had no idea justice system worked that way.
I will definitely be thinking twice & I'll be telling my friends & family the same.
Witness names should be protected.
The police could say someone credible as identified person as...
They shouldn't give names out imo.
It's made me fearful for my children as we are in a v small town where the perpetrators see them everyday (in fact there children attend same school as mine) If they were scared or like I said psychotic they are risk of retribution.

allthingsred Fri 22-Mar-19 22:57:29

(They being perpetrators) sorry post is a bit rambling

prh47bridge Fri 22-Mar-19 23:11:17

Someone accused of a crime is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. They are entitled to know the evidence against them. That means they are entitled to know who has made statements.

seems wrong to me. under GDPR

No, this is not a breach of GDPR.

SD1978 Sat 23-Mar-19 01:40:16

It is ridiculous. The individual charged, due to presumption of innocence, get all your details as their legal right to defence, because they are upstanding memebers of the community until proved otherwise........and then it's too late, and when found guilty, these innocent people up until this point who are actually violent t and aggressive arseholes have your personal details. Hence I have never pressed charges post assault in the A&E. Bad enough they know where I work- not having my daily also put at risk.

OrzeiliHapiol Sat 23-Mar-19 02:50:22

I agree that it sounds dangerous and in many cases could be unwise. However, the right for an accused person to know the identity of their accuser is important. There are malicious false witnesses in the world. If they don't know who you are then they don't know whether that's as possibility in this case. If you were ever falsely accused of something then you would need to know whether the upstanding credible witness against you was in fact your CF neighbour who has a grudge against you became of where you park your car.

Practically, how could witnesses be anonymous without there being unacceptable miscarriages of justice?

MrMeSeeks Sat 23-Mar-19 02:55:16

I did not know this.
I would not come forward either now

allthingsred Sat 23-Mar-19 06:41:04

I understand it now.
But I really feel that the police need to make people aware that. When people are coming forward to identify others. their names are passed on to the accused.
I have already let my boss know I will not be giving statements again.
Like I said in a way im lucky this crime was theft by 2 non violent offenders. That both put their hands up & apologised for.
But I work with some seriously mentally ill individuals.
If ever the same were to happen again i would not be agreeing to make statements.

Collaborate Sat 23-Mar-19 07:00:32

I think you're blowing this all out pf proportion. We don't live in some Hollywood-type dystopian movie. You are not at risk from these defendants.

The criminal justice system will stop functioning completely if witnesses don't come forward.

I'm astounded at the posters who think it appalling that someone accused of a crime gets to know who their accuser is. This is basic stuff. Do you all write for the Daily Mail?

elasticfantastic Sat 23-Mar-19 07:17:24

Exactly what @Collaborate said.

The whole justice system relies On witnesses. If you were accused of a crime you would want to know what the statements say and who made them.

I can't believe that people would consider not giving a statement because their name was on it. In that case why bother contacting the police? I'm assuming the same people who give info but refuse to put it in a statement then say "the police had the info but did nothing ..." without the statement that info isn't evidence.

Witness intimidation is rare as the courts come down like a ton of bricks and most people involved in criminality know that. Criminals know that if they get caught it's an occupational hazard. And in circumstances such as the OPs, she's a professional not their friend, the person wouldn't bat an eyelid at the staff making a statement.

Farahilda Sat 23-Mar-19 07:28:02

You should have checked the statement for accuracy when younsigned it.

If it has not yet been signed, it should not have been shared with the defendant or their representative,.

It is a cornerstone of justice that the defendant sees the case against them.

Secret evidence is rarely used in England, though the SIAC procedure does exist (a special,advocate reads the evidence - typically from the security services in a terrorist context - and advises the defendants if a sanitised version of the contents )

smallereveryday Sat 23-Mar-19 08:00:39

All those saying that this is an essential procedure in criminal prosecution are absolutely correct. There is no way around this without denying the defendant a reasonable line of defence - in that his Counsel must we able to call and question witnesses. Without it - no conviction would be safe.

There are , as with all things 'special circumstances' . Depending upon the nature of the case and the threat risk of the defendants.

I am a criminal investigator for organised crime within a statutory agency - and I have , at times given evidence behind a screen and been allowed to use a pseudonym. As have other witnesses. Either due to the nature of their jobs or the threat from the defence.

When disclosure schedules are sent to the CPS there is also the option to redact and to place on sensitive schedules. I NEVER disclose a witnesses address to the defence and as far as I am aware neither do the Police.

Under CPIA the defence MAY request the address of witnesses clearly stating how this information has a bearing on the case and defence. If not provided then they MAY apply to the court. If this is granted then the prosecution will be notified in order to tell the witness and put in place any safeguards required.
Witness intimidation is treated very severely by judges.

allthingsred Sat 23-Mar-19 11:16:03

Not signed anything It was all done over the phone.
As I said my boss contacted them to say we recognised them from the video shown on social media.
I don't think I'm over reacting. Some of people I work with have serious mental health issues and don't always think clearly or of consequences.
Like I said now it's been explained I understand why it is done.
But it should have been explained over the phone at the time.
& I'm still not entirely comfortable with it.

smallereveryday Sat 23-Mar-19 15:34:23

None of your address details will have been given to the defence solicitors. It has to be requested and relevant to the criminal matter.

Shakeitoutnow Sat 23-Mar-19 15:36:55

As a professional it is the norm for your name and work not home address to be used when you report any matters to the police relating to your job. You are witness to a crime and may need to give evidence in court .

elasticfantastic Sat 23-Mar-19 19:03:00

You should have been given opportunity to see and sign the statement before it was put forward in evidence, especially if it's not accurate, you need to contact the supervisor of the officer and get this sorted.

Nicknacky Sat 23-Mar-19 20:35:12

Statements can be taken over the phone, I occasionally do it but try not it to as it’s better to do it in person. It is of course not signed but I do have to state it was read over to the witness which I would have expected the officer to have done.

Really surprised people don’t realise that names are of course used in criminal proceedings.....

DGRossetti Mon 25-Mar-19 09:56:39

Really surprised people don’t realise that names are of course used in criminal proceedings.....

I'm not really surprised, given nothing about our legal system is ever taught in schools. Hence the amusing prevelance of the freeman bollocks ....

Nicknacky Mon 25-Mar-19 11:20:41

Actually, that’s very true!

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