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Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Video remand hearings reinstated by police

Video remand hearings reinstated by police


The police are to reinstate the use of VRM after government funding, the Law Society has confirmed

The police are to reinstate the use of video remand hearings (VRM) after government funding, the Law Society has confirmed.

Police forces withdrew from holding VRM in their custody suites in October after running out of cash. 

After months of lobbying, voicing concerns with HM Courts and Tribunals Services (HMCTS) and others, including the lord chancellor and lord chief justice, HMCTS recently confirmed that some police stations and courts have now reverted to holding remand hearings via cloud video platform. 

HMCTS can now operate VRH for all defendants in police custody at Durham, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Norfolk, Suffolk and Gloucestershire.

The courts operating VRH for these forces are Norwich, Ipswich, Truro, Plymouth, Exeter, Derby and Durham. Kent is carrying out VRH only on the basis of warrants and breaches of bail.

Law Society of England and Wales president David Greene said: “Anything that can minimise the number of people having to appear at court for matters which could be reasonably dealt with via remote means, both helps keep our members and other court users safe and helps keep the courts open and able to tackle the backlogs.

“We are pleased to see that the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office have agreed funding to support the reintroduction of video remand hearings for all defendants in several locations and hope that this is the first step towards restoring their use more widely.”