Virtual Courtrooms Introduced to Other Areas
A criminal justice scheme championed in Hertfordshire by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Lloyd is to be extended to run in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

The Virtual Courts system, which allows defendants to appear at Magistrates Court via video link from custody, has already been running successfully throughout Hertfordshire since 2012. Following an agreement of PCCs and Police Chief Constables in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, the system will now be expanded across all three counties.

The  amount of time police officers have to spend at court has fallen dramatically as they can also appear ‘virtually’. This has increased the amount of time they can spend on other cases, and enables them to be operational up to ten minutes before having to appear – a huge improvement on the old system of attending court. More significantly, the result for vulnerable victims and witnesses has improved, with fewer needing to go through stressful and drawn out court cases.

David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, welcomes the expansion of the scheme: “I included a commitment to introducing the the Virtual Court scheme across Hertfordshire’s custody centres in my first Police and Crime Plan, and it has revolutionised the way we can deal with cases. It helps victims, saves money, speeds up justice and I’m pleased that thanks to our strategic alliance with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, we are able to share our experience and expand the benefits of Virtual Courts more widely.”