Thursday, August 18, 2005

New facility for crime victims opened

A new interview suite that will also be made available for the victims of crime, especially women and children, is being opened today by Commodore Allan Adair the Commander British Forces.

The new Pelham House interview suite is owned by the Joint Provost and Security Unit, but MoD announced that it will be a facility for the whole of Gibraltar.

“Any person in Gibraltar who is a victim of a serious crime is able to use the flat. Pelham House has a child friendly interview room to provide a more comfortable environment for children who need to be interviewed about violent crime or sexual abuse,” said MOD.

A spokesman explained that UK Law allows video-taped interviews to be submitted as evidence. Such practice is used primarily for those deemed “vulnerable” such as children and mentally handicapped persons. Although video-taped interviews cannot currently be used in Gibraltar law courts, Pelham House also offers emergency accommodation that can be used by an adult and up to two children immediately after a violent crime. The project has been in the hands of Warrant Officer Evans who has been overseeing the project for the last two years.

“It is very important for a victim of violent crime to be able to feel safe and to return to a home environment as quickly as possible. This flat enables the victim to stay in one location and has the facilities for medical examination, police interviews and emergency accommodation if that is required,” he said.

“The refurbishment of this excellent facility up to UK standards would not have been made possible without the support from local businesses. Donations were received from Mediterranean Computers, Image Graphics, Bassadone Motors, The Vienna Bedding Shop, SM Seruya and SSAFA Forces Welfare Committee as well as several private donations.”

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