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Street Crime Courts

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the establishment of designated street crime courts.[130513]

The Street Crime Initiative (SCI) was a co-ordinated inter-departmental and inter-agency response to escalating robbery figures early in 2002. The 70 designated courts were part of the contribution which the Court Service provided to the SCI.

The 26 Crown Courts and 44 magistrates courts have been collecting and providing data to the Department on a monthly basis and the monitoring of the throughput of cases continues. Street crime cases are not fast tracked but special attention is given to them to avoid unnecessary delay. The latest data presented to the Prime Minster's Street Crime Action Group Meeting in July revealed that street crime cases were disposed of, on average, within 135 days, compared to 178 days in respect of non-street crime cases proceeding in the same courts. All courts were well within the Department for Constitutional Affairs' target for the Crown Court, which is that 78 per cent. of cases sent to them should be listed within 182 days.