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A first in West Mercia, as virtual remand court hearings launch

PCC John Campion has made a big step forward in his commitment to putting victims and survivors first by supporting the introduction of virtual remand courts.

After it was announced in 2018 that Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) were reducing the five West Mercia remand courts down to just one, the PCC expressed great concern about this decision and the impact it would place on the criminal justice system.

As part of the PCC’s commitment to putting victims and survivors first, he coordinated partners and allocated funding to improve the way criminal justice is delivered within West Mercia and ensure that it is accessible for all.  As a result of Covid-19, the virtual hearings, which were held for the first time yesterday in Hereford, Worcester and Telford, have been rolled out earlier than scheduled.

PCC John Campion said: “I am concerned that an area the size of West Mercia would only have one remand court. At the time of the announcement I highlighted the impact this would place on other services and, as part of my commitment to reform West Mercia, I suggested introducing digital solutions like video-link.

“Whilst it has happened sooner than anticipated, this new approach has only highlighted the ongoing partnership work to deliver where’s needed. By being innovative, and adapting to change, we are still able to ensure justice is delivered during this trying time.”

Issued on: Tuesday 7th April

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