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Top civil servant visits new court
8:00am Saturday 5th October 2013 in News
A LEADING Whitehall civil servant toured Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court to see how modern technology is being used.
Head of the Home Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake was shown around the building in New Street on Friday ahead of the court transferring to digital systems.
Within three years the building which opened in 2012 will use computer screens to present evidence, wi-fi and more video links for police and witnesses as part of a Government scheme.
During his visit, Mr Kerslake was shown what is already being implemented by court staff for the project.
Mr Kerslake said: “What I was particularly looking at was what the staff are doing in terms of working with digital technology in the court building and from what I saw they have done a lot already.
“Staff are able to quickly access people outside the court when they need information and with the secure wi-fi system, files can be moved around and retrieved more easily.
“This is making the court faster and more effective which in turn is providing swifter justice.”
Mr Kerslake who is also permanent secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government believes digitalising court rooms will have a beneficial impact on the British legal system.
“We are not changing laws or the practices of the court,” he said.
“We are just making it much more efficient.
“There is not much benefit from police officers hanging around a court to wait to give evidence or for clerks to search around for a certain bit of paperwork, so everybody is a winner out of this.”
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was the first to be digitalised as part of the scheme with Chelmsford being the second.
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