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Magistrates 'should be in police stations'

Magistrates should dispense on-the-spot justice inside police stations at peak times, the centre-right think-tank Policy Exchange has proposed. "Police Courts would mean much swifter justice for low-level crime," the report's author said.

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Public 'should see justice in action'

Richard Monkhouse, chairman of the Magistrates' Association, said:

This report from Policy Exchange mirrors many of our suggestions and we are pleased to see that there is a wider view that much greater use can and should be made of magistrates.

However, we firmly believe that the public should be able to see justice in action and having successfully campaigned for out of court disposals to be more open and transparent, it would seem a backward and totally inappropriate step for magistrates to deliver justice in police stations.

Whether these proposals are allowed to be implemented is another matter, but we will work for our members to ensure that magistrates are valued and trusted to develop our role within the criminal justice.

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