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Magistrates Courts: Wisbech

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans HM Courts Service has for Wisbech magistrates court. (254005)

Wisbech magistrates court is a two criminal court room building in an accessible part of Wisbech. The building is co-located alongside the local police station (Cambridgeshire Constabulary) and its custody suite which is accessed by the courthouse. Cambridgeshire Constabulary are the tenants of HMCS. Many of the building services are linked to the adjacent police station. The courthouse has the use of two cells under a shared arrangement with the police and the Prisoner Escort Service (PECS). Recently Cambridgeshire Constabulary has made public its intention to move custody arrangements to a new county facility in March, Cambridgeshire from the end of March 2009 and will no longer provide this at Wisbech police station. The Wisbech police station will remain as an operational unit. HMCS have been actively involved in discussions with both the Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the PECs delivery organisation (GSL) as to how HMCS can ensure practical occupation of the cell area in order for the HMCS business to continue to operate as usual. Without the use of an available and suitable on-site custody suite the use of the courthouse would be considerably reduced which is why the local HMCS area has been working proactively alongside both Cambridgeshire Constabulary and PECs to resolve this situation successfully. There are no current plans or proposals to change or reduce the use of this courthouse.