Matthew Scott, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has welcomed the decision of the Ministry of Justice to extend the use of the Nightingale Court in Maidstone by a further 18 months. As Chair of the Kent Criminal Justice Board, Matthew has been working with Kent MPs including Sevenoaks’ Laura Trott to secure a longer tenure for the Maidstone-based court.
It has helped stabilise Kent’s Crown Court case backlog, and will continue to hear civil, tribunal and other non-custodial cases, freeing up Maidstone Crown Court to hear jury trials which require cells and secure dock facilities.
The decision was announced today by Justice Minister James Cartlidge MP.
“I am delighted that the Court will continue following my efforts to bring together different agencies and MPs to make the case for it to be extended. Staff across our criminal justice system have worked tirelessly to deliver throughout the pandemic and deserve our thanks.
“Justice delayed means justice could be denied, especially if victims and witnesses no longer support the process. This means that capacity can be freed up in our Crown Courts for trials to be heard. I will continue to campaign for the extra court space we will need to deal with our backlogs.”