Northern Ireland's Justice Minister David Ford has welcomed the positive impact of the Registered Intermediaries Schemes in assisting vulnerable victims, witnesses and defendants in communicating more effectively.
The Schemes began in May 2013 and this week the Department of Justice has launched a second recruitment campaign for Registered Intermediaries.
The role of a Registered Intermediary is to assist victims, witnesses and defendants who may find it difficult to understand questions asked of them and to help communicate their answers more effectively during a police investigation or at a trial.
David Ford said: “I welcome the early indications that the Registered Intermediaries Schemes are working well and that very vulnerable people with significant communication difficulties are now getting the help they need to tell the police and the courts what happened to them.
“Registered Intermediaries make a real contribution to the criminal justice process.
“It is a challenging but vital role in aiding victims, witnesses and defendants to give their best possible evidence, as well as working closely with criminal justice professionals, sometimes in emotionally stressful and high-profile cases.
“This second recruitment campaign is a unique opportunity for professionals who have a specialism in communication to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable people, and to enhance the effectiveness and fairness of our justice system. I would encourage all those who have the requisite skills and experience to consider this area of work.”
This role may be of interest to people from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including speech and language therapy, clinical and forensic psychology, social work and the mental health professions.