Concerns raised over Covid safety in London courts – .

Concerns raised over Covid safety in London courts – .

TThe government has been accused of “pretending” to defend the security of Covid-19 in the courts as concerns emerge over efforts to tackle transmission within the justice system.

Courts in England and Wales have remained open throughout the pandemic, relying heavily on a policy of weekly inspections of its buildings by senior officials and a traffic light system to raise concerns about urgent security.

However, an investigation by the Evening Standard has now revealed significant concerns about the oversight of these security regimes in London courthouses last year.
HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) insists its courts have been kept ‘secured by Covid’ and that security measures have been tightly monitored over the past 15 months.
But a third of the weekly assessments that were supposed to have been carried out between May and December last year in London criminal courts are missing from government records.
An analysis of the reports that have been written reveals that maintenance issues have gone unresolved for months, while some staff seem to have misunderstood how the security system was supposed to work.
“The government has pretended to talk about health and safety,” criminal lawyer Tony Wyatt said, adding that the fault lies with the politicians who “decimated” the workforce of the justice system.

Legionella outbreak detected at London’s Interior Crown Court
/ Pennsylvania
“The Courts Service has a security system in place and expects it to be run by people who have not been properly trained and have a hundred other things to do. “
The PCS union, which represents thousands of justice workers, said its efforts to review court safety assessments had been repeatedly postponed during the pandemic, and accused the government of implementing a ” checkbox exercise ”instead of more rigorous health and safety controls.
When the pandemic first struck, 157 courts remained open while those that were temporarily closed gradually reopened in May and June.


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