More than 1,000 cases waiting to be heard at Mansfield Magistrates' Court
More than 1,000 cases are waiting to be heard at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court – with a further backlog of 8,400 across Nottinghamshire.
A Freedom of Information request by the Chad shows that as of June 30, there were 1,803 oustanding cases at Nottingham Crown Court, 1,026 at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Rosemary Street and 6,589 at Nottingham Magistrates Court.
Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner said: “Any attempt to reduce considerable backlog in our courts is welcome.
“As police and crime commissioner, responsible for representing victims, I remain deeply concerned by the potential impact on criminal justice if delays are so significant that both victims and witnesses fall out of the process.”
A ‘trial blitz’ aimed at clearing growing court backlogs across the county will take place in Nottinghamshire during November.
Four additional magistrates courts in Mansfield, bringing the total to seven, and six other courts in the county, will sit for longer days between November 1 and 12, creating more than 250 extra hours of hearing time.
Mrs Henry said: “It is having an impact on victims and witness engagement.
“There has been increased capacity in the courts system with the introduction of a Nightingale court site at The Mercure Hotel, Sherwood, in March and an additional court which we have modified in Mansfield courthouse.”
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said that he hoped crown court backlogs in England and Wales would fall within 12 months, but could not say when they would reach pre-pandemic levels.
On a national level, more than 60,000 crown court trials are waiting to be heard – about 22,000 higher than before the pandemic.
Backlogs had already been rising, following cuts to prosecutions and ‘sitting days’, which reduces the number of crown courts that can operate at any one time.
About a quarter of victims have been withdrawing from investigations and prosecutions – a figure that rises to 42 per cent for rape.
Critics say the delays mean peopel are losing trust in the justice system.
Former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said earlier this year that cuts as well as Covid had contributed to the backlog.