Fast-track justice via video conferencing

Video conferencing services could play a part in fast-tracking criminals to jail during the Olympic Games, reports.

Under contingency plans drawn up by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), would-be yobs, thieves and civil rioters, could face swifter hearings via video communications as courts seek to minimise the time spent dealing with Games-specific criminality.

As well as cutting down the time it takes to process ticket-touting offenders, pick-pockets and muggers, the CPS says it will cut down the number of prison van journeys around the capital.

Virtual courts will be set up in or around police stations and it is understood that court appearances – or ‘live link’ hearings – will take place within 24 hours of a crime taking place. The CPS could supplement these by hiring out external video conferencing services too, providing further capacity.

The measures will cover London, the Thames Valley and Weymouth in Dorset – where a number of water-based Olympic events are due to take place.

Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for London, was quoted by as saying: “Many people who come to the Olympics won’t live here, so it is important that if offences are committed, we act quickly.

“People who commit offences on Tuesday will be in court on Wednesday. We are learning the lessons of the summer riots (when offenders were processed within days rather than the usual weeks).”