Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Meghan Gallacher, is calling on the SNP Government to urgently outline measures to reduce the lengthy delays at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
The latest figures show that 986 trials are waiting to be heard, almost 300 more than there was before lockdown.
While there is an acceptance a backlog will have built up due to Covid-19 restrictions, Meghan Gallacher says the SNP’s Justice Secretary must come up with innovative and urgent measures to allow trials to be heard.
These additional cases will add to the backlog of problems relating to trials being adjourned due to lack of court time. Last year alone, 2.3% of court cases were adjourned and this figure will only increase if the SNP do not treat this issue seriously.
Recently, the head of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Eric McQueen said the backlog could take up to 10 years to close.
Commenting, Meghan Gallacher said:
“While it was understandable that a backlog has built up in Hamilton Sheriff Court due to the Covid pandemic, we now must see urgent and innovative action from the SNP Government to tackle the issue.
“There was an issue with trials being adjourned before the pandemic, which the SNP Scottish Government failed to address.
“This will only be exacerbated due to the pressures of COVID-19 as the court tries to cope with the increasing number of cases which need to be heard.
“Almost 1,000 victims, witnesses and accused are waiting to have their day in court which is completely unacceptable and I will continue to push for greater action to support Hamilton Sheriff Court.”