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Magistrates And Crown Courts

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) magistrates and (b) crown courts do not have separate waiting areas to ensure that witnesses do not have to mix with individuals against whom they will be testifying. [106868]

The crown court sits at a total of 94 localities of which seven do not provide dedicated facilities for the separation of witnesses from the general public. In those cases other arrangements are made to provide for the necessary separation—for example using CPS or police rooms by arrangement. There are 402 magistrates courts of which 40 do not provide dedicated facilities for the separation of witnesses from the general public. Appropriate segregation arrangements are made there also.Over the last three years £5.3 million has been invested to provide 133 Video Link rooms in magistrates courts. In the last year a further £4.3 million has been invested in 27 crown courts and 21 magistrates courts to provide separate witness facilities at each court.