The shift towards more summary justice is driven by financial concerns and will not improve public confidence in the criminal justice system, magistrates have warned.
In a letter to the prime minister, the Magistrates Association says that although JPs want to dispense speedy justice, the extended use on-the-spot fines on the grounds of cost-effectiveness “cannot be right”.
“There is a growing belief that the extended use of fixed penalty notices and penalty notices for disorder is considered only as a financial rather than a judicial solution to crime and does not result in a better society and increased public confidence,” it says.
The concerns are raised in a new report from the association warning that a lack of funding in the courts system is delaying and stopping criminals being brought to justice.
Cost-cutting ‘threatens justice system’