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  1. It’s hard to see what is the chicken and what the egg here. Does an austerity policy of closing courts and sending judges on gardening leave lead to fewer prosecutions all round, fewer expensive trials and terms of imprisonment? Or does the difficulty in bringing prosecutions in the digital age, cause the MoJ to close courts etc? The digital problem is not confined to rape cases, much serious crime is evidenced by digital messages, even so called encrypted ones as well as things like plotting journeys by using mobile phones to track movement. It’s very costly and time consuming but the alternative can’t possibly be let’s change the rules and ignore evidence! The only solution is to spend more money and stop culling CPS staff, lawyers and case workers. In theory the system puts the burden of disclosure on a named police officer who isn’t part of the Investigative team, although often as not a colleague. It puts enormous burden on them and it’s no surprise it’s badly done and sometimes isn’t done at all. That task should be taken over by an expanded CPS.

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