In the 10 years I have been in the House, I have seldom heard such good sense from a Minister in a statement. Contrary to what the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser) said, I believe that we should never have abolished the practice of dealing with people in a magistrates court the day after they are charged, and that it should be reintroduced. It is not a problem for the police service: it certainly was not in my day. I believe that the police will welcome the proposal.
On either-way trials, if we can trust magistrates to decide guilt or innocence, why cannot we trust magistrates to decide whether cases are sufficiently serious to be tried by a jury in a Crown court?