Video link could be established

editorial image

The Scottish Court Service is investigating the option of setting up a video link facility for vulnerable witnesses once the town’s Sheriff Court closes.

The court on Arbroath High Street will close next May, with all court work being transferred to the Forfar faciity.

The closure of the court was fiercely criticised by many, especially as some believed it would be difficult to reach Forfar if relying on public transport.

But now in a letter to Angus South MSP Graeme Dey, the SCS have confirmed they are looking into the video link plan.

If it were to go ahead, it would provide an on-going facility where any witness defined as vulnerable would be able to give evidence without having to travel to Forfar.

The letter from SCS chief executive Eric McQueen, also confirmed that the SCS is in communication with Victim Support Scotland (VSS) over the move and advised space has been included to offer them improved facilities in the accommodation plans for Forfar.

He also revealed that although the SCS had been willing to accommodate staff in other locations if that better suited them, all Arbroath based court staff have opted to re-locate to Forfar.

Angus Mike Weir MP commented: “The agreement to take a flexible approach to the timing of cases is important and the possibility of a video link in Arbroath will address concerns about vulnerable witnesses, as will the improved space available for Victim Support Scotland.”

Mr Dey added: “Mr McQueen has indicated that by November the SCS will be into full planning for the new Angus set-up and he will update us further at that stage.

“Both Mike Weir and I will be continuing to monitor progress to ensure inconvenience and disruption caused by locating all services in Forfar can be limited.”