Anyone in the enclosed dock has great difficulty in hearing what is going on in the courtroom and has to stand with an ear close to a narrow gap between the glass panels, which are at least 10ft high, in order to hear what is being said.
The door leading from the enclosure is not locked if you enter the enclosure from within the courtroom – which seems to be a requirement for all persons walking into the court as a free person to appear before the magistrates. However, one can be almost certain that the door to the courtroom would be locked when someone is brought up the stairs which lead up to the rear of the enclosure from the custodial cells below the court.
Is this the way we wish to see things go in our magistrates courts? What lesson is this teaching our younger generation who often end up in such oppressive surroundings and who can only surely feel themselves criminalized? I would be interested to know just how many courts in the land now have such 'security' measures in place.
Certainly, there are those who might become aggressive when in the dock. However, the current system condemns all to be tarred with the same brush and is a gross disservice to the supposed innocent before guilty stance of persons accused of any crime in the UK, which itself is something rather farcical. I mean, if someone is truly to be considered innocent before guilty, well how in God’s name anyone can be held in custody prior to conviction, most notably those without any previous convictions, simply escapes me.
That such security might be required in the courts is not doubted. But those who, or who for quantifiable reason, are considered likely to become aggressive should be sent to a courtroom that has the necessary security measures in place. Other, ordinary citizens should not be treated like rogues or even barbarians - for that is undeniably what is taking place.
If there are concerns that any individual might become unruly, then surely in the majority of magistrates’ courts security personnel could be present to prevent and deal with this.
What is perhaps of importance here is that magistrates, who are endowed with the authority to dispense justice according to the law, quite willingly attend and sit in such courts where these belittling docks exist.
Anyone with a view to this matter is asked to comment on this item either here on IndyMedia UK or on the author’s website at www.newsmedianews.com.