Cable & Wireless to provide Virtual Court tech


Cable & Wireless has won a multi-million pound conract to provide video conferencing facilities for the Government's new virtual courts scheme.

The Criminal Justice System's scheme, launched back in May by Justice Secretary Jack Straw, seeks to speed up the justice process by cutting travel time as well as cutting costs and the chances of defendants absconding. It also provides support for more vulnerable witnesses unable to take the stand.

Jim Marsh, chief executive of Cable & Wireless, said in a statement: "The Managed Video Conferencing solution we're providing will radically change the way evidence is given."

Managed Video Conferencing will be used to enable Virtual Courts where the first hearing of a defendant can be performed via video link from the police station to the court as well as allowing prisoners to give evidence from prison and letting probation officers speak to those on probation without travelling.

The scheme is being trialled at 15 police stations in London, all linked to Camberwell Magistrates Court. It is not being used for full trials but if a defendant pleads guilty, it can be used for sentencing. Another pilot of the scheme will take place later this year in Kent.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.