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Chelmsford Crown Court: Facilities

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what facilities are available at Chelmsford Crown court for (a) defendants, (b) families of defendants and (c) victims of crime; what such facilities were available in (i) 1996, (ii) 1998, (iii) 2001, (iv) 2005 and (v) 2006; what plans he has to improve facilities; what recent representations he has received on this issue; and if he will make a statement. (174070)

Facilities available at Chelmsford Crown court are as follows:

(a) Since March 2006, there has been a dedicated suite available for defendants on bail.

(b) Rooms are not normally provided for families of defendants. However, where there are special circumstances, a lockable interview room is available and can be allocated for use by the families of defendants.

(c) Since 1996, there have been three rooms available for victims of crime; the normal witness assembly room plus two other dedicated rooms for vulnerable witnesses or families of murder victims.

Separately, during 2007, there have been representations on proposed new magistrates court buildings in Chelmsford both from a local Councillor and an MP.

There are currently no plans to improve facilities at the Crown court.