§ Mr. Boateng
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what provision is being made for improvements to accommodation and facilities at Crown courts for victims of crime.
Mr. John M. Taylor
In court buildings currently under construction, separate waiting rooms are provided for defence and prosecution witnesses, and there is a witness waiting room with direct acccess into the courtroom, adjacent to the witness box. Since a high proportion of victims of crime are also witnesses, they would receive assistance from the Crown Prosecution Service or from voluntary agencies such as Victim Support in the larger Crown court centres. Some court centres are able to provide special witness waiting rooms equipped with closed circuit television equipment (CCTV) which enable vulnerable witnesses to give evidence remote from the courtroom.
Existing Crown court centres are subject to building constraints, and it is not always feasible to incorporate desired improvements. However, operational arrangements are made to assist vulnerable witnesses who made themselves known to court staff, and to seat relatives of victims of crime within the courtroom wherever possible.
§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many cases were dealt with in the Crown court in each year since 1980 and in the last month for which figures are available.
Mr. John M. Taylor
The table shows the number of committals for trial, committals for sentence and appeals dealt with in the Crown court in each year since 1980 and in the month of September 1993. The latter figures are provisional and liable to revision to take account of any late amendments.
Cases committed for trial, for sentence and appeals dealt with in the Crown court 1980–1993 Committals for trial Committals for sentence Appeals 1980 57,271 14,973 17,859 1981 61,929 15,223 17,573 1982 66,184 14,544 20,775 1983 72,567 11,521 18,775 1984 74,777 9,141 20,350 1985 82,788 9,427 21,059 1986 86,426 7,581 18,925 1987 96,197 7,867 17,053 1988 104,773 8,485 15,849 1989 101,232 8,267 16,860 1990 100,005 8,656 17,557 1991 101,999 9,943 18,433
Committals for trial Committals for sentence Appeals 1992 100,742 9,543 19,765 September 1993 6,855 928 2,073