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Victims of crime being denied justice as police, courts and prisons operate at ‘unacceptable’ levels

Victims of crime being denied justice as police, courts and prisons operate at 'unacceptable' levels 2

Victims of crime are being denied justice as police, courts and prisons operate at ‘unacceptable’ levels after Covid

  • Crime victims denied justice as policing and prisons at ‘unacceptable’ levels
  • Criminal justice system suffering from an ‘artificially suppressed’ level of activity
  • A Criminal Justice Joint Inspection said the system is a ‘long way from recovery’
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Victims of crime are being denied justice because some areas of policing, the courts and prisons are operating at ‘unacceptable’ levels, watchdogs warn today.

The criminal justice system is still suffering an ‘artificially suppressed’ level of activity after Covid, an official study found. 

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The Criminal Justice Joint Inspection warned the system remains a ‘long way from recovery’.

M Prison Styal is a Closed Category prison for female adults and young offenders, located in the village of Styal

M Prison Styal is a Closed Category prison for female adults and young offenders, located in the village of Styal

Victims of crime are being denied justice because some areas of policing, the courts and prisons are operating at ‘unacceptable’ levels, watchdogs warn today. Pictured: HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

Victims of crime are being denied justice because some areas of policing, the courts and prisons are operating at ‘unacceptable’ levels, watchdogs warn today. Pictured: HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

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At the end of last year a quarter of prosecutions had been waiting for a year or more to come to court, official figures have shown. 

The number of cases waiting longer than a year has increased by more than 340 per cent since March 2020.

‘Such unacceptable delays have an adverse impact on victims and defendants, and have a knock-on effect on other criminal justice agencies,’ the inspectors said.

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‘The system is getting by because of an artificially suppressed level of activity and reduced performance management and quality expectations – which cannot go on.’

The report is published today by the inspectorates of probation, policing, the Crown Prosecution Service and prisons.

A Government spokesman said: ‘We are pleased the Chief Inspectors recognised our decisive action saved lives and kept the justice system moving during the pandemic.

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‘Thanks to the almost half a billion we have invested and the extra measures we have taken to bring down the Crown Court backlog – including extra courtroom capacity and increasing sentencing powers for magistrates – the number of outstanding cases is falling and we have now eased the restrictions across our prisons which kept staff, prisoners and the wider community safe.

‘We have over 4,000 more prison officers than in 2016 and are recruiting probation officers at record levels to improve public protection.’ 

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