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On 27 May the Public Accounts Committee reported on the efficiency of the criminal justice system. The Committee’s report describes the system as “bedevilled by long standing poor performance including delays and inefficiencies, and costs are being shunted from one part of the system to another”.

It concludes the system is not good enough at supporting victims and witnesses and timely access to justice is too dependent on where victims and witnesses live.

The Committee is concerned the Ministry of Justice “has been too slow to recognise where the system is under stress, and to take action to deal with it”.

Our team is well aware of the short-comings in the system but we will do all we can to help you avoid any of the problems set out by the Committee.

The full report can be found here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmpubacc/72/7202.htm

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We are sad to say that on 31 March 2016 Steven Varley (the partner who put the ‘V’ in VHS Fletchers) retired from the partnership but fortunately not from the firm. He will continue to present and prepare cases on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, and also accept instructions in relation to a broad range of regulatory and business defence matters. For an appointment to see Steven please telephone 0115 9441233.

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We are pleased to say that Mel Hoffman, who joined this firm in 2015 when we expanded into Mansfield and who was previously a trainee with the legal legend Geoff Bilton at Bilton Hammond, has now returned from maternity leave at the beginning of April. If you face a criminal investigation or court proceedings please telephone 01623 675816 to make an appointment to see Mel.

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Experienced Solicitor Advocate William Bennett and Crown Court Litigator Siobhan McGuinness are now based at our Derby Office at 10 St Mary’s Gate. William will primarily deal with cases from our Derby, Chesterfield and Ilkeston offices and represents clients daily at Derby Crown Court for a range of offences.

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The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force on 26 May 2016. This seeks to prevent the supply of psychoactive substances, previously known as ‘legal highs’. Although the Home Office Guidance to retailers can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/psychoactive-substances-act-guidance-for-retailers/psychoactive-substances-act-2016-guidance-for-retailers the Home Office recognises that it cannot give legal advice. If you are a retailer and wish advice or clarification please contact your nearest office and one of our team of specialist criminal lawyers will be happy to provide the advice you need.

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