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Commissioner Meets Court Service Over Remand Hearings

PCC Updates, West Mercia Police

  • Incident number: N/A
  • Date: 20/07/2018

The use of video link will be explored to try and improve current arrangements for remand court hearings in West Mercia.

Changes were introduced earlier this year that centralised remand hearings for three counties in Kidderminster. John Campion has previously said the changes deny communities local access to justice and put additional strain on police resources.

The Commissioner recently met with Deputy Justices Clerk Jonathan Price from HM Courts and Tribunals Service, who confirmed the centralised hearings would continue, but was willing to consider looking into the use of technology as a means of reducing its impact.

John Campion said: ''It is disappointing that the Courts Service will continue with centralised remand hearings. Our communities rightfully expect to be able to access justice locally. This change removes that access for many people. This meeting was about making sure that point was clear to the Courts Service, and that voices from our communities were heard''.

''I am encouraged that they are willing to consider the use of video technology. However any potential solution needs to fix problems for our communities and police force, rather than just create new ones. Video technology would still require the commitment of significant time and resource. That commitment cannot come exclusively from the police. All parties involved need to play their part. I will work with our police, the Courts and other partners to see what can be delivered.''

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