I share with you a briefing from HMCTS following the announcement from the Met (along with other forces) that they would not longer host remand prisoners for court hearings. Defence Briefing - London - Dec 20
I have liaised with those at HMCTS who must mitigate the impact of this.
This document shows they are listening to our concerns and we will maintain a dialogue with them. Certainty of production arrangements is a key priority, so that before 9am practitioners know their client will be sent to the local remand court or if they will be diverted to avoid over-crowding. You will see the wearing of masks is mandated and I expect that to apply to Prisoner Escort and Custody staff (PECs) and prisoners being brought to consultations.
If you have practical recommendations for improvements in your local court please send me your ideas. If you experience unsafe standards while in the cells please let us know and provide as much detail as possible, we will share report with HMCTS while respecting anonymity.
The installation of screens and phone lines for consultations is a work in progress however, and I will provide updates when I can.