Courts will continue to operate at reduced capacity but have a large backlog of cases.

Re-opening local crown and magistrate courts with COVID Secure measures required to keep staff and members of the public safe mean that waiting time is still a problem.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, responding to a report published yesterday, Thursday, July 30, said: “I recognise this is no doubt having a significant effect on victims, witnesses and defendants, who deserve to have their cases heard in an efficient and timely manner, but are having to put their lives on hold during these long delays.

“I want to reassure all those in the justice system that Wiltshire Criminal Justice Board, which I chair, is working to support the courts, (seeking) opportunities for extending opening hours and additional court capacity and looking at how we can better embed the use of so trials can be heard digitally.”

He said the changes were beginning to make a difference, and the ongoing court reform programme had been accelerated.

He would continue to prioritise victims and witnesses and funding specialist services supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.