Beds, Herts & Bucks

Virtual court created via video in Hertfordshire

A virtual court to allow defendants to appear before magistrates via video from police stations has been unveiled in Hertfordshire.

The new virtual court at Hatfield Remand Court allows an accused person, charged in Watford's police station, to have their first hearing within hours of being charged.

About 20 cases have been dealt with so far, the Ministry of Justice said.

Offences dealt with have included theft and assault.

The virtual court is the second court in Hertfordshire that is using video links with the aim of making the Criminal Justice System more efficient.

Since last summer Hatfield police station has been linked to St Albans Magistrates' court to enable police officers to provide evidence from the police station.

Courts minister and Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said: "The virtual court in Hertfordshire demonstrates the Government's commitment to working with local police and the courts to ensure speedy and effective justice."

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