Police protection of intimidated witnesses: a study of the Strathclyde police witness protection programme

Nicholas R. Fyfe, Heather McKay

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Against a background of growing concern about the murder and attempted murder of witnesses giving evidence in cases of serious and organised crime, several police forces in the UK have established specialist units to permanently relocate witnesses whose lives are in danger. Modelled largely on similar units operating in the US, the first part of the paper looks at the US experience of providing high level witness protection. The paper then draws on the first ever research into a UK witness protection programme, that established by Strathclyde Police, to examine the structure, operation and costs of witness protection. The paper then explores the views of police, prosecutors and defence advocates on the role of the Strathclyde Police Witness Protection Programme, and concludes by drawing on interviews with protected witnesses to examine their experiences of intimidation and relocation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)277-299
    Number of pages23
    JournalPolicing and Society: an International Journal of Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000



    • witnesses
    • intimidation
    • police protection
    • Strathclyde

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