Yes, you heard it right. Courts in England and Wales could now face a 10-year wait to clear their backlog of cases. With hundreds of lawsuits being added to the queue every day, the Crown Prosecution Service warn of a difficult road ahead.
Since the beginning of lockdown on the 23rd March, thousands of hearings in both England and Wales have been delayed. But when you add these cases to the 37,000 already waiting to be heard, the true scale of the challenge awaiting the crown courts becomes clear.
Despite planning to increase the number of days the courts sit, and utilising the latest technology to hear cases remotely, the Crown Prosecution Service acknowledge that some radical solutions are needed, ‘if the system is to recover.’
In a new report, the Crown Prosecution Service Incorporate state that the implications of social distancing measures in court rooms ‘will not allow’ for a reduction in the current backlog of cases. In order to return to their pre-pandemic rates, estimates show it would take 10-years to clear their current backlog. Yet the number of cases needing to be heard across the UK is rising on a daily basis, adding yet further pressure to this already struggling system.
Under new social distancing regulations, the duration of each case is increasing, taking hours or days longer than normal to be heard. In fact, the report warns the challenges of social distancing and protecting those in the court environment ‘cannot be underestimated.’
The Crown Prosecution Service Incorporate also state that major increases in the time taken to hear cases will ‘be highly detrimental to justice.’
It is clear the coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the courts. Yet the Crown Prosecution Service hint of trouble even before the discovery of the virus. They suggest that a ‘lack of investment’ and court funding have caused considerable challenges for the system.
Impact on victims
With some victims now facing a 10-year wait to have their day in court, this report won’t make for pleasant reading.
Court hearing priority is rightly being given to serious cases, often those which involve vulnerable victims. The Crown Prosecution Service have always aimed to protect the most vulnerable victims, and ensure their wellbeing and welfare is prioritised at all times.
Other cases, however, are lower down in the priority ranking. So for those wishing to see their debtor being brought to justice in court, this isn’t welcome news.
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So if you don’t want to wait 10-years to get your money back, then we can action your case within just 24 hours. Cobra Financial Solutions take the stress away from debt collection. Our team of skilled recovery agents work right across the UK, and are ready to visit your debtor, today.
You don’t have to wait for justice. Call our team on 0151 526 4222, and let’s get started.