Devon court recording changes cause 14 job losses

New voice recognition recording technology to record crown court hearings in Plymouth and Exeter has resulted in the loss of 14 jobs.

The new equipment means staff are no longer needed to supervise recordings of trials and other proceedings.

Six people have lost their jobs in Plymouth and eight in Exeter.

The Court Service said the digital system would be faster, more efficient, and would save taxpayers £5m a year in saved wages across England and Wales.

Tradition 'gone'

Former Exeter court logger Diane Wilson said it was a sad end to a centuries-old legal tradition of the manual logging and transcribing of cases, with stenographers also not being required because of the changes.

She said: "I think it's very sad that we've lost our jobs but also there's 200 years of tradition just gone.

"I'm also very sad about that, because that's part of history gone.

"You never knew when you went in what [type of case] you were going to face.

"Some of them could, of course, be quite traumatic. But it was always interesting."

The Court Service said 97 crown and combined court sites across the country were replacing existing obsolete tape recorders with the new system and the roll-out was due to finish in March.

It said it would result in a more efficient transcription service and more secure data transmission between legal offices and departments.

The Plymouth system went live on Thursday.

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