When, Where and How Often? A Summary of Refreshed Testimony Police Practices in England and Wales.

Francesca Ainsworth, Amina Memon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In England and Wales, witnesses are permitted to review their original statement/interview prior to giving live evidence, due to the lengthy delays between the investigative interview and the case being presented in court. This is thought to refresh their memory (refreshed testimony) to improve recall during the evidence-in-chief interview and cross-examination. Every witness has the right to refreshed testimony, however, a survey of young witnesses in 2004 highlighted that this opportunity was not always made available (Plotnikoff and Woolfson, 2004). The Achieving Best Evidence Guidelines (2007; 2011) briefly mention refreshed testimony in reference to preparing the witness for court, however no official protocol exists for the practice. This raises the question as to whether witnesses are refreshed differently across England and Wales and whether this is dependent on their location or the crime to which they were witness.
Data will be presented from a questionnaire study which sampled police officers in England and Wales (n=210), investigating how refreshed testimony is carried out in the field. This presentation will raise both practical and theoretical questions relating to the practice of refreshed testimony. There will be a discussion of how these aspects may influence the witnesses’ memory and subsequently, their in-court recall accuracy and cross-examination performance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2012
EventiIIRG 5th Annual Conference - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 24 May 201226 May 2012


ConferenceiIIRG 5th Annual Conference


  • refreshed testimony
  • eyewitness

Cite this