The Intermediary Role
Who are we?
Communication specialists trained to work with children and vulnerable adults during police interviews and in court.
What do we do?
We assess how well someone will be able to understand questions and express him/herself before giving evidence to the police or in court.
We help the police get the best quality of evidence when they interview the witness/suspect.
We report our findings to the court and advise the judge and barristers how best to question the witness.
In court we stand next to the witness/defendant and ensure questions and answers are fairly put and understood by everyone. We facilitate communication for defendants, enabling effective participation, throughout the trial.
Who do we help?
Our services are usually requested as “Special Measures” for all very young children, and for any child or teenager with poor language skills, autism, mental health issues or learning disability. We also assist vulnerable adults with mental health issues, learning difficulties, dementia or any other condition where communication is affected.
Where do we work?
Police stations and criminal, civil and family courts.
What kinds of intermediaries are there?
Registered Intermediaries are selected, trained, accredited and regulated by the Ministry of Justice (England and Wales) or the Department of Justice (Northern Ireland).
Non registered intermediaries are not registered with the Ministry of Justice or Department of Justice, however they have been selected, trained and accredited by independent organisations.
Intermediaries frequently have to work with vulnerable witnesses, suspects and defendants with extremely challenging needs. Many of our cases involve physical or sexual abuse. Evidence from children as young as three to adults with schizophrenia, has been effective in cases of murder, fraud, rape, child exploitation and trafficking.