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NEWS

Short Update: Criminals to avoid day in court while legal backlog is cleared

FairTrialsAdmin - May 18, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Court closures

According to The Times, thousands of prosecutions for drug, public order, theft and criminal damage offences are set to be dropped as police chiefs try to alleviate pressure on the court system. 

Officers have been told not to pursue criminal charges and instead apply out-of-court measures, such as a caution or community resolution, to clear a backlog caused by the coronavirus. 

In January and February police charged 7,885 suspects with theft and handling, 1,877 with criminal damage, 5,511 with drug offences and 4,952 with public order offences. If police forces across England and Wales decide to proceed instead with out-of-court action for lower-level offences, thousands of offenders will probably escape prosecution during the pandemic. An offender will be prosecuted if they do not abide by the terms of a caution or community resolution. 

Read the story here 

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