HC Deb 21 July 1997 vol 298 c385W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his Department's plans to introduce a fast-track approach to bringing young offenders to court. [7526]

Mr. Michael

The Government are committed to halving the time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders and tackling delays throughout the youth justice system. We are taking immediate action to speed up proceedings against young offenders. My right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has already written to the chairman of every youth panel in magistrates courts throughout England and Wales encouraging them to deal swiftly and effectively with persistent young offenders and to minimise the granting of adjournments. We intend to follow this up with good practice guidance to all relevant agencies. The Crime and Disorder Bill will also include reforms to the youth justice system designed to ensure that young offenders are dealt with more speedily.