'New focus' on 'swift justice'

Typically, almost five months pass between an offence taking place and any sentence being handed down, despite the fact most cases do not have to go to trial or are uncontested.
Last summer's riots showed the system can move much faster and "swift and sure" justice should be routine, Mr Herbert will say. "With a stronger role for magistrates, greater involvement of communities and the drive of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, we will forge a system that grips offenders at the earliest point to prevent the slide into more serious offending. This new focus on delivering swift and sure justice will support the police, give communities a voice, and reduce crime."
The move comes after Prime Minister David Cameron said in October that the public wanted to see speedy justice and if it was possible in the wake of the riots, then "let's make sure we do it all the time".
Graham Beech, director at the crime reduction charity Nacro, said: "Speedy justice makes it easier to connect the sentence with the crime. But speeding up the process shouldn't be at the expense of proper justice or compromise the crucial need for appropriate sentences." He went on: "We need to ensure that the resources are there to deal with any increased flow of people through the justice system that these proposals might bring. And we don't want a quick fix leading to more people being given ineffective sentences, preventing us from challenging offenders in the community and stopping them reoffending in the future."
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