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Police linked to court via video service

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

Police officers from Frome will be able to appear in court via video link this year.

Officers have had to travel long distances to Taunton, Bristol and Bath to attend court cases, using up valuable hours on the beat.

Avon and Somerset Police has signed up for the video link service so officers don't have to waste time travelling and then waiting outside courts to give their evidence. Now they'll be able to do it live from the police station.

So far only a select few police forces like Essex, London, and West Midlands use live link technology.

Justice Minister Damian Green announced on Thursday that Avon and Somerset, among 12 other forces, was rolling out the scheme and said: "We want the justice system to respond more effectively to the needs of victims, witnesses and professionals. Video technology is vital in this and I am extremely pleased that Avon and Somerset will be rolling out this technology during 2013.

"This is one part of our drive to create a swifter and more efficient justice system for all."

Over the past year, around the country, about 75,000 video appearances took place during criminal cases. This saved some 300 police hours, transport costs and prisoner movements. Other police forces using live links include Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gwent, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, North Wales, Suffolk, Sussex, Staffordshire, and Wiltshire.

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