Claire Baker MSP has welcomed plans to extend Kirkcaldy police station to house courtrooms for the area, hailing it the next step in securing a Justice Centre in the town.
According to reports the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service have submitted plans to create new courtroom space in the station. This includes two new courtrooms, interview rooms, sheriff’s chambers, jury rooms, custody cells and witness rooms.
The plans state that “existing court facilities at the Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court nearby at Whytecauseway would be retained but there is opportunity to adapt the entire police station building at a later stage into an enlarged justice centre”.
The Scottish Government have already backed a similar centre in Inverness, with funding of over £20 million.
Ms Baker said: “It has been clear that Kirkcaldy and the surrounding region have been working for some time with a court that is no longer fit for purpose.
“I’ve been calling for changes since 2012 and since then we have continued to see lack of space, poor equipment and sometimes we have even had witnesses facing the accused in stairwells. This is unacceptable.
“That is why I welcome all attempts by the Court Services to make changes and welcome news that plans have been lodged to move to the police station. I am clear that this must be the first step in moving towards a full Justice Centre for the area.
“The Government must now come out and confirm that it backs these plans, with appropriate funding, to ensure that we have a Justice Centre in the town sooner rather than later. Kirkcaldy and the surrounding area deserves to see justice, delivered locally with victims and their families put first.”
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