The centre will offer advice to eye witnesses and victims in cases of street violence. Initially its focus is on incidents that occur in Hackney and Islington.
The centre is run by Witness Confident, an independent charity which aims to reduce the numbers of muggings and stranger attacks by encouraging the public to take a stand when they see street violence. The centre, which is staffed by a barrister, a solicitor and a law graduate, has been approved by the Bar Standards Board. It has been funded by donors including the Nuffield Foundation and the Allen Lane Foundation.
The kind of cases the charity's legal helpline will advise on are where the client:
- is unsure whether the police can or will do anything
- needs to know what the process will entail
- wants to check their evidence is of value
- cannot contact the right police team
- is anxious about going to court
- suspects or dislikes the police
- is afraid of reprisals