Magistrates should dispense on-the-spot justice inside police stations at peak times, a centre-right think-tank has proposed.
As part of a radical set of recommendations to speed up the criminal justice system and help deliver planned budget cuts of nearly 40%, the Policy Exchange has argued in favour of recruiting 10,000 new magistrates, boosting overall numbers to 33,000.
New magistrates could sit in police stations - including during evenings and weekends - and other community buildings and would oversee out-of-court disposals, which Policy Exchange says accounts for 20% of all criminal cases.
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HM Inspectorate of Prisons also flagged up ‘chronic and substantial’ staff shortages at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes.
The over-payment totalled around £35,000 and involved three residents and different homes.