Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court’s role should be extended, solicitors believe

Potential closure of Lowestoft Magistrates Court.

Picture: James Bass

Potential closure of Lowestoft Magistrates Court. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court has been earmarked by the government for closure - but far from closing Lit, solicitors and Waveney MP Peter Aldous would like to see its role extended, believing it has an increasingly important role to play in the justice system.

When justice secretary Michael Gove’s predecessor Chris Grayling visited Lowestoft in March, he said: “I see a stronger tole for magistrates’ courts in the future.

“We have got a situation at the moment where there is a growing baacklog in crown courts with, for example, the number of sex crime cases increasing. I’m going to want to see magistrates’ courts taking on more work, not less.”

In his letter to Mr Gove ahead of the meeting with justice minister Shailesh Vara on Monday (July 20), Mr Aldous said: “Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court is in a readily accessible location adjoining the police station close to the new shared offices of the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Company.

“There is also ann adjacent car park, which is under-utilised.

“It is important that any changes to the court estate make full use of this strategically-placed community asset.”

He suggested that this could mean the Lowestoft courthouse becoming a “justice hub” with increased use of digital services - although Mr Aldous said it would important the technology is fully tested first.

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