New Crown Court facilities at the courthouse in Amersham were officially opened today by the Honourable Mr Justice Fulford
The two courtrooms at the former Magistrates' Court have been converted into Crown courtrooms in order to create greater flexibility in the way court services are provided locally.
Amersham court house will now operate principally as a Crown Court satellite to support the substantial workload at nearby Aylesbury Crown Court.
The public areas and custody suite at the court have also been refurbished and improved.
The new facilities include:
- video Links in both courtrooms and a designated video link room,
- hearing Loops for the deaf and hard of hearing in both courtrooms,
- secure docks in both courtrooms,
- a separate waiting area for vulnerable witnesses and victims,
- a refurbished public waiting area, and
- a much improved large custody facility with separate areas for adult males, females and youths.
Jonathan Lane, Area Director for HMCTS Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Thames Valley, said:
'These new facilities demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that local court users have access to a first class criminal justice system. The Crown Court at Amersham will help to ensure that cases are heard more quickly due to better facilities and the extra resources it provides. The new facilities will also provide better protection for vulnerable witnesses and victims and more flexible use of courtrooms.'
Mr Justice Fulford said:
'These two courts reflect all that is best in a modern judicial system. They have been built with the real needs of the public and vulnerable witnesses centrally incorporated into the design. As much usable equipment and furniture from the old courts as possible have been reused and significant energy saving devices have been installed. These are, in a sentence, modern, excellently equipped courts which should serve local justice extremely well.'
The new courtrooms have been in use since 11 April 2011.