A CHARITY which helps both victims of crime and witnesses in court cases has opened new offices in Manchester.

The Victim Support and Witness Service now operates from offices in Bloom Street which are 150 yards from the city's Minshull Street Crown Court where many of its workers are based. Around 700 volunteers help 21,000 witnesses each year who are called to give evidence in court cases across the 10 magistrates' courts and three Crown courts in Greater Manchester.

And up to 146,000 victims of crime a year are helped.