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Sussex Police has chosen Accenture as its IT services partner for its pioneering project to improve how people to give evidence by video.
The £11m video-enabled justice (VEJ) project will eventually be rolled out in London and the South East region.
In Sussex, the project involves installing live links into 14 police estates across the county to create virtual courts. The first links will be installed in police operations in Bognor Regis, Brighton, Worthing Centenary House, Chichester, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Lewes, Littlehampton, Rye and Uckfield.
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The technology will provide prison to court video link, bail application virtual court appearance, police witness live link court appearance, and victim and witness live link court appearance.
Katy Bourne, Sussex police and crime commissioner, said conventional routes and processes into courts are not as effective or user-friendly as they could be.
“This funding will allow us to embed video-enabled justice across the system and will deliver greater flexibility and access to court time, saving police officers and witnesses up to five hours waiting for court slots, and does not require police to drive some defendants across the county for a five-minute hearing,” she said.
There will be a scheduling service which matches up to 300 available video end points to participants, including the police, the defence, prison service staff, judges or magistrates and defendants.
“If businesses and government can operate digitally by default, we should aim for the criminal justice system to do the same where possible. We owe it to victims and witnesses to get this right,” said Bourne.