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LadyA
10-11-2011, 10:02 PM
Is there such a thing as witness protection (or its equivalent) for the criminal's family?

In my about-to-start WiP, the two main characters' dad is found at the beginning to be a murderer/rapist/paedophile (I haven't decided which yet) and it'll be something that turns the whole community against the family (mum and twins).
My question is, would they get witness protection, and what is the procedure?

They are in serious danger, as they live in a rough area, and their dad did some hateful things. Also, would they be allowed to live with an aunt, as it's miles and miles away?

I don't know whether it's different for the UK and US, but someone from either would be great :)

tirial
10-11-2011, 10:51 PM
If the family are witnesses, going to testify and their lives would be in danger (possibly from other relatives/criminal associates of the father), then it would be available. The threat to their lives would have to be concrete and definite - local disapproval wouldn't do it. You'd be looking at a threat from someone capable of carrying it out.

Even if they aren't testifying it can apply. In the UK, there is a case where a couple were offered Witness Protection after their son committed an offence, which they weren't involved in, and their lives were thought to be in danger. They declined (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/4825998.stm).

Steve Collins
10-12-2011, 05:38 PM
LadyA, yes they can be offered it, in the past I have provided armed protection for a criminals family during a trial in the UK.