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Boris Johnson Seeks Judicial Control

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Boris Johnson wants to secure control of the courts and the prosecution service, a move which would put London’s mayor in charge of the criminal justice system in the capital, according to the Guardian.

It states that the plans would see a New York-style system, where its mayor holds to account those responsible for investigation and arrest, through to charging, prosecution and sentencing.

It says that Stephen Greenhalgh, Johnson’s deputy mayor for policing, believes devolution would deliver a better service and allow a greater focus on the holy grail of the justice system: reducing repeat offending.

He is quoted as saying: “The criminal justice system should be held to account as the Met is in London, otherwise these are unaccountable agencies not answering to the people of London.” The different parts of the justice system “play pass the parcel” when it comes to problem solving, he said.

Greenhalgh said savings would come from getting the police, courts and prosecutors answerable to the same goals and by “co-locating them in the same buildings, working off the same IT systems, with the same priorities.”

He said the justice system was stuck in the past: “It is a 19th-century construct with 19th-century technology which needs to move into the 21st century.”