Court Out – Law & Order Comes to the County
8 March 2015
A group of Pembrokeshire young people got an unique taste of law and order last week.
The 15 youngsters took part in Court Out – a hands-on project organised by the County Council’s Pembrokeshire Youth Service along with Dyfed Powys Police, Haverfordwest Magistrate Court, Milford Youth Matters and local law practice, Redkite Solicitors
The project, which took place over two days, aimed at giving the 13 to 17 year-olds an inside look at the legal system – from an arrest to a trial verdict.
It included the youngsters taking part in a mock court case and playing the roles of police, defence, prosecution and magistrates.
“The project proved to be a brilliant partnership between all the agencies involved with everyone going the extra mile to give the young people an unique experience,” said Nick Hudd, Community Youth Worker.
“The police, defence and prosecution teams were made up of young people from Milford Haven, while the youngsters who comprised the magistrates support team came from Saundersfoot. In this way we ensured that those hearing the case did not know the young people involved in the trial,” he said.”It proved to be really educational and I am sure it will have a positive effect on them.”
Court Out saw the young people investigate a fictitious crime and witness the accused taken into custody and processed at Haverfordwest police station.
The police gave the young people an insight into their role in an investigation and advised the team playing police officers about their roles and responsibilities.
James Subbiani from Redkite Law Practice then explained to the group the role of solicitors in proceedings and advised the defence team on how to progress their case.
The group spent time putting a case together, with the young people playing police officers interviewing witnesses and putting together witness statements, which were then used by the ‘shadow’ defence and prosecution legal teams.
On the second day they attended a real magistrates court, with genuine magistrates on hand to provide advice to those playing themselves and other court officials.
The case was run as if it were a real trial, with witnesses questioned on the stand, the accused in the dock and an active defence and prosecution team working tirelessly to ensure justice prevailed.
Afterwards the young people had an opportunity to see behind the scenes of the courts, explore the process of a defendant being held and processed and even look at the cells where they await trial.
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