back to article Big Brother is prosecuting you: More cops to use court vid chats

Coppers will soon give evidence in almost half the courts in England and Wales from their police stations via video-conferencing links. Justice minister Damian Green announced the government will triple the number of installed video connections to further free up officers' time and potentially save taxpayers some cash. The …

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Sure those numbers are right?

75,000 cases and 300 man hours saved? That's 14 seconds saved per case. Good work.

Not to mention the money that this presumably cost, saving what... £4000?

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Re: Sure those numbers are right?

You beat me to it!

El-reg should probably go back and double check these figures.

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Re: Sure those numbers are right?

Yeah, 300 man-hours. That's two-weeks of work for a single officer. On that amount of cases, you probably spend ten times that much by having police toilets 5m more than away from their offices / entrance.

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Re: Sure those numbers are right?

And is it just me hoping that the typo is actually for 300,000 hours because, otherwise, it all seems a bit of a waste.

300,000 hours sounds like the sort of number where it become worth saving over 70,000 cases (i.e. several hours per case), but otherwise it all seems to be a bit pointless and expensive if it doesn't save AT LEAST that much.

Hell, it would probably be quicker and cheaper to just let them dial in evidence by phone. It's not like the video-part of it adds anything to proceedings that the court can act on ("This witness is obviously lying because he looks a bit shifty", etc.) or is recorded for posterity, or broadcast to the world.

Let them give evidence by phone (with suitable verification), save all the fancy-schmancy tech and get the same (or better) result.

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Come back Max

Can you imagine a court full of Max Headrooms.

Maybe we should just leave the Guilty Criminals at home, in front of TV screens displaying images of Prison Cells ,handcuff them to their sofas so that they can't escape et voila "Bobs your Auntie." Now that really would save a fortune

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Can they use the camera in their iPlod Touch?

Sorry

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Witness demeanour

> It's not like the video-part of it adds anything to proceedings that the court can act on ("This witness is obviously lying because he looks a bit shifty", etc.)

Actually that is something the court will take into account. The magistrate (or judge & jury) will often refer to the demeanour and manner of a witness if it goes to the veracity of their evidence. Police officers are witnesses in the same sense as any other witness, and it worries me that permitting them to give evidence behind a veil will give the prosecution a small but significant advantage. Sometimes money is worth spending in the interests of justice.

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Re: Witness demeanour

Yeah, defendants should be free to choose an avatar to appear instead of themselves, like Steve McQueen or Gollum.

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Re: Witness demeanour

Prosecutors try to keep defence witnesses from giving video evidence for just this reason.

But for some reason it's fine for police now,

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FAIL

Why not just have video conference calls?

This continuing dilution of justice in the British judicial system is plain wrong.

The Defendant is entitled to FACE his accusers, in person. How can a defence team exercise their full range of talents in challenging the veracity of a witness?

People don't seem to remember why an accused appears in court during a pretrial period. It allows a Defendant to address the Court with minimal fear of retribution, particularly when a Defendant is held in pre-trial custody. Now we have video pre-trial appearances from within a custodial situation where a Defendant is surrounded by those he might complain about.

The Crown has always had excessive powers and since bLIAR these have increased to the detriment of what was known as British justice.

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Re: Why not just have video conference calls?

"The Defendant is entitled to FACE his accusers, in person."

I cannot upvote this statement enough!

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WTF?

"a considerable amount of time and money is wasted...

"...by police officers travelling to and from court and waiting outside the courtroom to give evidence"

And what about the members of the public who have to take time off work to give evidence and are then not called?

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