Coronavirus: Criminals could go free if victims drop out of delayed court cases, campaigners warn

Exclusive: ‘Perfect storm’ as victims face delays and support services hit by outbreak, writes Lizzie Dearden

Sunday 05 April 2020 14:12
Many trials have been postponed indefinitely
Many trials have been postponed indefinitely

Criminals could go free if victims drop out of prosecutions because of delays to court hearings caused by coronavirus.

No trials are being heard because of the outbreak, which will dramatically worsen a pre-existing backlog of more than 37,400 crown court cases.

Prosecutions have already hit a record low in England and Wales, and lawyers fear the current crisis will send the criminal justice system into “meltdown”.