New figures have revealed a “disastrous” decision to close Tayside and Fife courts is putting the brakes on justice.
The Liberal Democrats have released data showing Dundee, Forfar and Aberdeen sheriff courts are failing to maintain disposal targets since the closure of Arbroath, Cupar and Stonehaven.
The percentage of criminal cases dealt with within 26-weeks dropped significantly at all three remaining courts since the Scottish Courts Service shut 10 buildings in May.
In Dundee, which now absorbs business from Cupar and Angus, cases dealt with on time dropped from 84% to 76.7% from June to September, compared to the same period last year.
At Forfar, which has taken the strain from the axed Arbroath Sheriff Court, the rate fell from 89.8% to 85.7%.
And in Aberdeen, where matters previously called in Stonehaven are now settled, there was a fall from 87.8% to 75.1%.
Politicians and a leading Scottish sheriff have voiced fears over the massively increased workloads at the remaining courts, claiming staff are having to fight their way through “chock-a-block” diaries.
Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes said the Scottish Government-backed closure programme should be urgently reviewed.
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