More cases could be heard at Peterborough courts if Cambridge Magistrates’ Court is shut

Peterborough Magistrates' Court
Peterborough Magistrates' Court

More cases could be heard at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court after proposals to close Cambridge Magistrates’ Court were announced.

The Cambridge court is one of eight across the country the Ministry of Justice is consulting about closure on, in an attempt to save the Government money.

In 2016/17 it cost £580,000 to run Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.

Should the closure happen, work which would normally be heard at Cambridge would be split between Huntingdon and Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.

The report said: “Huntingdon Law Courts would provide sufficient hearing room space to support the relocation of criminal magistrates’ work. “Custodial cases would be transferred to Huntingdon except where this would present a significant distance for users to travel, at which point work would be listed at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.

“A review would be undertaken to establish which location is more accessible to users from different areas. For users who do not live in the vicinity of Cambridge the reallocation of work to other parts of the county will represent decreased journey times in many cases.

“We will also look at the distribution of workload between the Crown Court centres of Cambridge, Peterborough and Huntingdon, working with the judiciary to consider the capacity for custodial magistrates’ work to be heard in Cambridge Crown Court, and thereby reducing travel required for people living in the vicinity of Cambridge.

“Currently Cambridge Crown Court is well used and it would not be possible to reserve Crown Court rooms on an ongoing basis for magistrates’ court work without impacting the efficient operation of the Crown Court. However, by looking at capacity across the county, it may be possible to work differently and accommodate more magistrates’ work in the Crown Court.”

For more information, or to have your say, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/calls-for-views-on-transforming-court-estate