Criminal cases are to be handled digitally from the moment a crime is committed to the conclusion of a case in court, the government said last week, revealing the first site to be equipped with IT under the new ‘digital business model’.
Bromley Magistrates’ Court is the first magistrates’ court in London and one of the first in the country to be equipped with video presentation technology, to be installed throughout the system by July 2016.
Announcing that justice was entering the ‘Wi-Fi era’, criminal justice minister Damian Green (pictured) said: ‘I want to see a criminal justice system where information is captured once by a police officer responding to a crime and then flows through the system to the court stage without duplication or reworking.’
He said the digital business model ‘provides us with a full picture of what a transformed criminal justice system could look like when all of our reform programmes deliver their goals’.
Innovations in the digital business model include defendants appearing in court via prison-to-court video links for pre-trial hearings; prosecutors and defence lawyers presenting cases from mobile phones; and submissions being stored centrally and made accessible through digital devices, using Wi-Fi connections.
Money for the scheme will come from new funding announced last month of up to £75m a year for courts in England and Wales.