Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin: Black Country criminals not going to court

Dudley MP Ian Austin has slammed the government for failing to bring Black Country criminals to court.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Austin revealed figures showing that Black Country courts heard just 110,000 cases last year, down by more than a third compared to 170,000 cases in 2010.

Austin demanded that the Home Secretary bring criminals to trial instead of allowing police to settle serious cases including domestic violence and rape with cautions.

Last year Austin led a successful campaign against government plans to close Dudley Magistrates Court.

Speaking in Home Office questions, Ian Austin said:

“Magistrates in Dudley tell me that as a result of the reduction in the number of police officers, people accused of quite serious crimes such as burglary, assault, domestic violence and even rape, are no longer being taken to court in the Black Country.

“The number of cases taken to court is down by a third.

“Why doesn’t the government understand that my constituents want to see police on the streets, offenders in court and criminals in jail?”

“People in Dudley want more police on the streets, more offenders going to court and more criminals being put in jail. What will she do to make this happen?”


Hearings in Magistrates Courts for Criminal, Civil and Enforcement
  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Fall since 2010
Cannock Magistrates Court 9,031 13,688 17,148 18,738 -9,707
Coventry Magistrates' Court 25,807 22,578 20,485 16,275 9,532
Dudley Magistrates' Court 15,552 18,436 17,100 10,502 5,050
Halesowen Magistrates' Court 2,330 0 0 0 2,330
Redditch Magistrates Court 9,335 9,883 7,415 7,468 1,867
Solihull Magistrates' Court 15,374 9,434 9,253 4,659 10,715
Stafford Magistrates Court 9,771 3,129 5,397 4,839 4,932
Telford Magistrates Court 13,860 14,630 12,061 11,702 2,158
Walsall Magistrates' Court 19,493 18,476 12,560 9,864 9,629
Warley Magistrates Court 18,468 22,997 16,200 12,584 5,884
West Bromwich Magistrates Court 7,495 0 0 0 7,495
Wolverhampton Magistrates Court 23,124 18,853 15,421 14,010 9,114
BLACK COUNTRY 169,640 152,104 133,040 110,641 58,999

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