Witnesses in antisocial behaviour order cases will be given the
same protection as those under criminal law under new
In a move to encourage witnesses to come forward without fear of
intimidation, constitutional affairs secretary Lord Falconer has
proposed a series of safeguards.
They include the right to give evidence by recorded video evidence,
live videolink or in private. Witnesses could also be allowed to
address the court from behind a screen.
The changes, coupled with Falconer’s proposals to triple the number
of fast-track criminal courts in England and Wales, are part of a
drive to increase the use of antisocial behaviour orders.
Home secretary David Blunkett is due to unveil his first annual
report on the progress of the antisocial behaviour strategy this
week, including an audit on the number of Asbos taken out by
councils. He is also expected to announce that 50 more areas will
be given assistance in how to handle the new process.