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Missing evidence 'costs courts dear'

By Wesleyan

Lawyers are seeing many prosecutions dropped because of missing evidence, paperwork or victims, new figures show.
And some cases are being halted because of the victim's failure to attend a trial, the report finds.

This means that thousands of cases are collapsing before they can go before the courts, according to a member of the London Assembly.

Tony Arbour, who is also a magistrate, has used the Freedom of Information Act to get the data from the Crown Prosecution Service. He calls the results "alarming".

As many as 6,438 of the 73,143 cases scrapped in 2013/14 were down to unavailable exhibits, key statements or further evidence.

In addition, 1,480 cases have been abandoned due to vital specialist evidence being similarly unavailable. Unreceived police files have resulted in a further 1,399 cases being halted.

Mr Arbour says commonsense steps are needed to ensure criminals are brought to justice. He says he is "alarmed" to see the high amount of prosecutions which are not coming to court throughout the country.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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