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Prisoner Escorts

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she issues to police forces on liaison with court officials to ensure the presentation of defendants to court in due time. (220074)

[holding answer 21 July 2008]: Section 46 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 requires that a person who is detained at a police station and charged with an offence shall be brought before a magistrates’ court in accordance with the requirements of that section of the Act. The person must be brought before the court as soon as practicable and no later than the first sitting after he is charged with an offence. If there is no sitting for the day on which the person is charged or the next day, the custody officer must inform the designated officer for a local justice area who shall arrange a sitting not later than the day next following the relevant day. Guidance for operational practitioners on how cases might be managed most effectively and efficiently from pre-charge through to conclusion is set out in the Criminal Case Management Framework issued by the Lord Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.