Court set to move into Kirkcaldy police station

Plans to give Kirkcaldy a fit-for-purpose court have taken a major step forward.

Monday, 19th March 2018, 12:02 pm
Updated Monday, 19th March 2018, 4:33 pm

An application has been submitted to Fife Council to build a two-court complex within Kirkcaldy police station in St Brycedale Avenue.

It would allow sheriff and jury cases to continue to be heard in town.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) wants to move into the existing police base.

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Kirkcaldy Police Station, St Brycedale Avenue

And once the new court complex is operational, the current JP court will be put up for sale.

The moves comes amid a strong push locally to create a new justice centre based in Kirkcaldy.

While that campaign continues – Claire Baker MSP has played a lead role in pushing for it, and the Press understands a possible location has been identified – the move into the police station gives the court the accommodation it needs.

The creation of the new courtrooms will improve efficiency and flexibility in managing day to day business, increasing the number of courtrooms, and providing improved accommodation for court users, including victims, witnesses and jurors.

Kirkcaldy Police Station, St Brycedale Avenue

And with the new court complex comes the opportunity at a later stage to develop the entire building into an enlarged justice centre providing the full range of justice services from a single location in town.

Eric McQueen, chief executive of SCTS, said: “With financial support from Scottish Government we are taking this initial exciting step to improve court services within Kirkcaldy, which is consistent with our longer term ambition to establish justice centres in key locations in Scotland, including Fife.

“Current court performance at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court remains strong and continues to improve, with summary trials being offered within the agreed 16 week period.

‘‘However the reporting and detection of crimes, particularly domestic abuse and sexual offences, has increased, not only in volume but in complexity requiring more court time, and the new court facilities will provide the flexibility to accommodate this business.”

The move into the police HQ has been welcomed by the force.

Chief Superintendent Colin Gall, Divisional Commander for Fife, said: “This will ensure greater collaboration between our organisations, and will, ultimately, improve efficiency for everyone within the criminal justice process.

“As part of Policing 2026, Police Scotland is committed to strengthening partnerships and improving outcomes for local communities.

“This opportunity will result in a key criminal justice partner being located within our police station along with Police Scotland criminal justice resources and the existing local policing team.”

Once the new court complex is operational, the current Justice of the Peace court will be offered for sale on the open market.