Thursday, October 26, 2006

Here We Go Again (2)

The recent report from a House of Commons Select Committee that was rather hard on the CPS included this interesting recommendation:-
(the CPS should) work with Her Majesty’s Courts Service to establish 24 hour courts as “one stop shops” in city areas, where those arrested for minor offences could be dealt with immediately.
Oh dear. A few years ago, in response to one of those Downing Street sofa moments, an experimental night court was set up in London in the expectation that offenders would be dragged off the streets, hauled up before the beak straight away, and be dealt with before midnight. Unfortunately the idea (borrowed, like so many crap ideas, from New York where things are, believe it or not, different) was not properly thought through, and the experiment was quietly dropped, having wasted several million pounds.
The trouble is, you see, that some people inconveniently plead not guilty. People are entitled to legal advice before deciding how to plead. If they are to be fined, there will need to be staff available to take the cash. If a community penalty or prison is in prospect then a probation report is required. All of this takes time, and will inevitably require an adjournment.
I have no doubt that the idea will be given another try and that it will again collapse after wasting another few million quid.

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