23rd Oct, 2021

West Midlands Deputy PCC's calls for Government to get justice system 'back on its feet after Covid'

Ross Crawford 25th Jan, 2021

WEST Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem has called for Government action to get the criminal justice system back on its feet after Covid.

It follows the publication of the Criminal Justice Joint Inspection ‘Impact of the pandemic on the Criminal Justice System’.

“This report shows that the courts system has some way to go in its recovery from Covid,” he said.

“Even now the Crown Court backlogs are still growing.

“We need an urgent national plan including investment in videolink technology in prisons and police custody, law changes to allow detention escort officers to work in police custody blocks, and proper funding for the upfront costs arising from video-enabled remote hearings.

“There are big efficiency gains to had if government acts promptly and invests wisely.”

Mr Saleem has chaired the West Midlands Criminal Justice Recovery Forum, bringing together partners from across the Criminal Justice System to deal with the challenges arising from Covid.

The Office of the PCC agreed an emergency Police and Crime Plan at the start of the pandemic that supported West Midlands Police to deal with the crisis, and maintain services provided with partners.

This included diversionary schemes that reduced demand on the Courts, as well as a resettlement scheme to help prison-leavers find accommodation during the pandemic.

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