Witness Confident is an independent charity that is taking a stand against a walk-on-by culture and campaigns for a more enlightened Criminal Justice System. We launched on 9 September 2009 (BBC Today programme interview) with plans to refresh the Criminal Justice System so it better serves victims, witnesses and the wider public. We recognise that
- victims will not report crime if they lack confidence in the justice system,
- witnesses will not come forward if the police do not make them feel welcome, and
- crime will not be deterred if the courts treat offenders with more respect than victims and witnesses.
Our goal is to reduce the levels of crime in and fear across society.
Witness Confident is a registered charity (no 1131106) and a limited company (no 6917476) in England & Wales. We have also been designated a legal advice centre by the Bar Standards Board.
Our director is Guy Dehn, who is a barrister with a background in criminal law, consumer policy, whistleblowing and governance. Matt Hale leads the community engagement work and the hate crime projects, Geoff Tibbs is services manager, Rosie Beauchamp is strategy officer and Evelyn Oakley handles the admin. Richard Groves, Martin Kolar and Matthew Mauger are the IT experts behind the Self Evident app.
Our trustees are Richard Barron (sociology), George Gross (defence solicitor), Andrea Parry (consultancy), Shonali Routray (regulation) and Anthony Heaton-Armstrong (chair and barrister & expert on witness evidence).
The Nuffield Foundation provided a three year start-up grant. Other trusts who have funded this work include the Allen Lane Foundation, the Hilden Trust, the Wates Foundation and the Wyseliot Trust. Individuals and organisations, including Google, provided welcome support. Thanks also to Mayer Brown who advise on intellectual property, privacy and corporate structures, Memset who host our website and Rufus Leonard who advise on our design and branding and incubate Just Evidence.