There was an interesting debate on TV discussing whether being witness to a crime is worth it or if as citizens we are better off not getting involved.  According to some members of the panel witnesses are let down by the police and the legal system because if you intervene during a crime taking place you can land yourself in a lot of trouble.  Are we turning into quite a fearful mean nation? I think something has gone horribly wrong if we are all to be afraid of being good citizens.

My friends in India have often advised me to drive on if I see an accident or crime and not get involved which does go contrary to the way we have been brought up in Britain.  The reasoning behind their advice is previous incidences where witnesses in India have saved/treated an injured person only to be pursued for compensation and life-long medical expenses for the audacity of caring.  The logic, if you can call it that, is that if you hadn’t saved them they wouldn’t be alive and therefore they wouldn’t have needed money to pay their own medical bills.

I’ve never had to go to court to be a witness but I’ve heard it can be very intimidating and unpleasant.  Perhaps it’s difficult to know how you would react until you find yourself in a situation?


2 Comments to “Witness”

  1. My husband witnessed a fight outside a pub a few years ago – it turned very nasty and he intervened to try and persuade everyone to calm down until the police arrived. He agreed to stand as a witness and was duly called to the crown court about a year later when the matter went to trial. A year later! During which time the police had to consider a charge of ABH against him as one of the girls said that my husband had hurt her when he pulled her off the other girl (CCTV proved that he didn’t put a finger on her). That’s not the worse of it though as the trial was awful. First of all he is self-employed as he does contracting work and so he wasn’t paid for the days he attended the trial. Then the whole purpose of being cross examined is to trip up and discredit the witness which is simply awful. I agree with your Indian friends Bubbly, if you see a crime and it doesnt involve someone you love, then call the police and walk away.

  2. MJK your husband’s experience sounds awful I can’t believe he almost got charged himself. Yes, maybe my Indian friends are right to an extent.

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