Feeds

London cops extend virtual justice trial

Trial of trial by video conferencing

The essential guide to IT transformation

A pilot of virtual courts which use video conferencing technology to put suspects on trial without leaving the police stations is being extended.

Fifteen London police stations will now be linked to Camberwell Green Magistrates Court by secure video communication and a secure document transfer system. The original trial ran for 12 weeks in 2007 also using Camberwell Magistrates' Court.

This will now be extended to another 14 police stations in London. There will be a further trial next year to see how the project works in a less urban setting, in North Kent in 2009.

The technology allows the Crown Prosecution Service to charge suspects hours after they've been arrested. They can then be linked to the court to hear an almost instant verdict. Magistrates in some cases could even pass sentence on the same day. Defense solicitors could sit either at the court or in the video conference room at the police station. If magistrates feel the trial is unsuitable for virtual court they can call for a proper hearing.

It is hoped the scheme will save money by: reducing the number of trials abandoned because the defendant does not turn up or paperwork is missing, save police time and save cash on costs of shipping prisoners around the country.

Ministry of Justice statement is here.

An MoJ spokesman was unable to provide technical information on how the project will work or explain how cases would be selected - maybe they could fastrack all those fraud cases resulting from investigating MPs' expenses. The MoJ hopes some 15,000 cases will be heard virtually during the year long pilot. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.