Fury at huge queues to get into court

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EXTRA security staff have been brought into a Yorkshire court building after lawyers, officials and families were forced to queue for up to 50 minutes to get inside.

Dozens of people were left waiting on the streets outside Sheffield Combined Court yesterday, raising fears court cases would have to be delayed as a result.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), which is responsible for the administration of UK courts, has apologised for the problem and says the delays are due “an unusually heavy caseload and security procedures” at the court.

A spokeswoman said yesterday: “HMCTS is bringing in extra security staff from tomorrow to speed up access to the building and has asked the security contractor to review procedures.

“HMCTS is continuing to monitor queuing time at the court, and apologises for any inconvenience caused.”

Barrister Andy Smith said he had been forced to wait for 30 minutes on Tuesday and 50 minutes yesterday to get into the court.

He said: “People are furious. What we are concerned about is the knock-on effect for the running of the courts.

“We aim to be there for around 9.20am so we have time to speak to our clients before court starts but everyone has been delayed.

“I believe it was very bad in Leeds for a time but they introduced a channel for employees and court users and that has eased that problem. It is nothing like this at Manchester, Preston or other courts I go to.”

A spokeswoman for G4S, which employs security staff at the court building, declined to comment further but said: “I can confirm that our staff are undertaking the normal security procedures.”