An NSPCC report, Measuring Up?, published in July showed Crown Court trials involving child witnesses take on average two months longer than other cases to come to trial, and more than a third are rescheduled more than once, adding to children’s anxiety. Researchers interviewed 182 children, aged between five to nineteen, parents and witness support professionals.  

NSPCC lawyer Barbara Esam said: “Speeding up young witness cases has been government policy since 1988 and is frequently re-stated but has still not been achieved.”

The charity is calling on the government to enforce its policy of fast-tracking criminal cases involving young witnesses and to monitor delays.