Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, says he’s delighted the Ministry of Justice has agreed to establish a Nightingale Court in Maidstone. The court, which will be at the Mercure Hotel in the city, will be an extension of Maidstone Crown Court and will be operational this week.
Matthew Scott has been lobbying with Sevenoaks MP Laura Trott for such a court for many months, citing serious delays in the local court system due to the pandemic. Like many parts of the country, Kent has a significant backlog with some cases not listed for trial until 2022.
However, the establishment of a Nightingale Court will alleviate some of this pressure. It will hear civil, tribunal and other non-custodial cases, freeing up Maidstone Crown Court to hear jury trials which require cells and secure dock facilities.
Mr. Scott says, “I lobbied Ministers for the Nightingale Court because it is vital we address the backlog of cases in our justice system. Victims and witnesses deserve efficient and effective justice and this new facility will help deliver that. I am pleased that the Government is listening and acting on this crucial issue.
“I congratulate the team at HM Courts and Tribunal Service locally for their work to deliver this and pay tribute to all criminal justice agencies who are doing their best in difficult circumstances to ensure that our justice system continues to provide.