Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin secures probe into crimes settled out of court

Dudley MP Ian Austin has secured a Parliamentary investigation into the use of so-called “out of court disposals” to deal with crimes.

The MP asked the Home Affairs Select Committee of which he is a member to investigate the issue after Dudley magistrates told him that a rising number of crimes were never coming to court. Official figures for the West Midlands show that the number of offences brought to justice has fallen in the last year, with a third of offences never reaching court.

Local magistrates have raised concerns about the use of out of court disposals with little oversight of the number and type of crimes that they were being used for. The Home Affairs committee will now prepare a report recommending reforms to the government.

Austin recently launched a campaign to keep Dudley Police Station open to the public, and previously launched a successful campaign to protect Dudley Magistrates Court.

Ian Austin said:

“I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to go to London and speak up for the concerns of magistrates in Dudley.

“Police in Dudley work flat out to keep the public safe, but victims have to feel that justice is being done when cases don’t go to court.

“This is really important because local people want more police on the streets, more offenders brought before court and more criminals put in jail.”

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