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Police and witnesses to give video evidence in Devon courts

By e_glanfield  |  Posted: January 03, 2013

Exeter Crown Court

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Police officers and vulnerable witnesses will be able to give evidence in Devon and Cornwall courts via video link from this year.

The Ministry of Justice is to install live-link video to enable police and witnesses to give evidence without visiting courts in 13 areas across the country - including Devon and Cornwall.

The technology is already in use in Essex, London, Kent, Cheshire, South Wales, Hertfordshire and the West Midlands.

In the last year there have been 75,000 video appearances in court, saving an estimated 300 police hours.

Justice Minister Damian Green said: “We want the justice system to respond more effectively to the needs of victims, witnesses and professionals.

“Video technology is vital in this and I am extremely pleased that thousands more people up and down the country will be seeing more criminal justice areas and courts making use of the technology.

“This is one part of our drive to create a swifter and more efficient justice system for all.”

As well as Devon and Cornwall, the system is to be rolled out across Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Derbyshire, Gwent, Northamptonshire, North Wales, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, Sussex, Staffordshire and Wiltshire.

Evidence could be given from police stations and other public or local authority buildings.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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  • Bangtastic  |  January 03 2013, 7:11PM

    Excellent news and a long time coming, this should have been implemented years ago. The two main points that I see as a good reason why this is a great step forward; 1. Will take less time out the Police's day. They can give their evidence from their police station/office rather than wasting a day travelling to the court, waiting to give evidence, give evidence, travel back. This should see a massive saving in resources and should give more time to do what they should be doing. 2. Vulnerable witnesses do not have to sit in an open court whilst being stared down by their offenders, and offenders 'friends'. This should put an end to the intimidation that can occur in some situations. Remarkably some areas have turned down the opportunity to have this implemented, can't for the life of me see why.

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