Prisoners on Remand: West Midlands

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Lisvane Lord Lisvane Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what account they took of (1) time, (2) travel, and (3) cost implications for defendants, solicitors and administrative staff when deciding to relocate all remand cases from the West Mercia Police area to Kidderminster.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The consultation for the proposed implementation of the centralised remand court began on 28th June 2017 and ended on 23rd August 2017.

A total of 62 responses were received from various bodies including defence solicitors, Magistrates, partner agencies and two Members of Parliament.

Prior to the consultation being published; the proposal to centralise the remand court was discussed at Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs) which are attended by all local partner agencies.

Following the public consultation that ran between June and August 2017, the local Judicial Business Group (JBG) decided to centralise hearings for all those defendants held in custody by the police for new offences or arrested on warrant for failing to appear at court.

The centralisation of these custody case hearings was principally to allow the more flexible listing of cases, to improve efficiency for victims and witnesses and to provide earlier trial dates. Trial performance information demonstrated that, prior to the new arrangements, victims and witnesses in West Mercia faced significant delays in coming to trial

As a result of the listing changes introduced, HMCTS can now provide earlier trial dates serving the needs of victims and witnesses better.

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