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New system to keep cops solving crime

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 03, 2013

By ROB SMYTH

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POLICE officers in Burton and South Derbyshire will soon be able to spend more time on the beat due to the rollout of a new system designed to speed up justice.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) revealed that both Derbyshire and Staffordshire Police will be among the first forces to be part of a new scheme that will allow police officers to give evidence in court via video link from the station.

It will save both police and court time and allow officers to spend more time preventing crime.

Justice Minister Damian Green said: “We want the justice system to respond more effectively to the needs of victims, witnesses and professionals.

“Video technology is vital in this and I am extremely pleased that Derbyshire and Staffordshire will be rolling out this technology during 2013.

“This is one part of our drive to create a swifter and more efficient justice system for all.”

The system is already in use in areas of London and Wales and has been deemed a success.

During the past year, an estimated 75,000 video appearances took place during criminal cases resulting in savings in transport costs and a reduction in prisoner movements.

As a result of live links an estimated 300 valuable police hours were saved.

They dealt with a range of offences from burglary, theft, assault to first hearings for more serious offences such as murder.

In addition, police forces are also expanding the use of video-link to support witnesses including vulnerable and intimidated witnesses who may have concerns about attending the same court as the defendant.

A spokesman for the MoJ said: “Police witness to court video links offer an effective alternative to police witnesses physically having to attend court buildings.

“The witness is located in the police station while all others are at the court.

“Under existing practice a considerable amount of time and money is wasted by police officers travelling to and from court and waiting outside the courtroom to give evidence.”

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