Sheriff criticises latest court closure

Sheriff criticises latest court closure

Peebles Sheriff Court

Sheriff Kevin Drummond expressed his dismay yesterday when Peebles Sheriff Court was closed.

The judge told a gathering of local lawyers that the Peebles court, which has existed since Medieval times, was a “a model for the provision of rural justice services across the country” given as it was joined to the police station.

Sheriff Drummond said he found it difficult to understand why the court was being closed, the financial reasons cited were not clear since the court made efficient use of police witnesses as well as custodies.

He added that the court dealt with work from a large area and that there were no court staff as it was served by employees based in Selkirk.

Peebles’ business will now go to Selkirk which is about 22 miles away.

Sheriff Drummond said: “I am confident that in a year or so someone will exercise the powers available under the Freedom of Information Act and find out just how much has been saved from the public purse by the closure of this fine court.

“I am sad for the solicitors and court practitioners who have served this court with distinction and I am sad too for the people of the county.”

The final sitting of Duns Sheriff Court in Berwcikshire will be next Wednesday with its business being transferred to Jedburgh which is 32 miles away.

Other closures include Rothesay, Kirkcudbright, Dornoch, Cupar, Arbroath, Dingwall, Stonehaven and Haddington

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