Safety and Security at Court

Security incidents at court do happen and can be a source of great concern to counsel.

In recent months, the issue of court security has been brought to the attention of the Legal Services Committee and it has been seeking to establish the extent of the problem. To this end we have asked barristers to let us have details of any violent incidents at court, including incidents of verbal abuse.

 We have also been in contact with the central team dealing with security policy and guidance at HMCS. HMCS has in place systems to monitor security incidents at court and they are urging stakeholders to report all incidents, no matter how minor. This will ensure that they can establish a comprehensive picture of the level of conflict and potential violence and this will enable them to review what provisions can be put in place to mitigate or eliminate this actual or potential threat to court users.

Each court has an official who is designated to lead on security matters. Sometimes they will have the title of Local Security Officer and sometimes their role will be subsumed within the larger role of Local Accommodation Manager. In order to ensure incidents are appropriately reported and dealt with, barristers are asked to report all incidents to security at court and, if it is a serious incident, it is suggested that the barrister speak with the court manager. It would be most helpful if all such reports are also brought to our attention (