Judge slams ‘chronic failure’ of security staff in written rant posted outside court

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Outspoken Jeremy Carey is off again

A local judge has penned an angry note blasting the performance of outsourced court staff.

Resident beak Jeremy Carey lambasted the company responsible for security at Maidstone Combined Court Centre, writing that “we are all heartily sick of the chronic failure of those responsible for providing effective and efficient security measures at the front entrance of this building to do”.

Queues to enter the Kent courthouse appear to have prompted the judicial missive (in full below), posted on Tuesday. Carey bemoaned an “even more lamentable state of affairs” than usual, supposedly caused by a member of security staff from facilities management firm Mitie not turning up for work that day.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

Carey, who also glories in the titles Recorder of Maidstone and Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, has been the head judge at the Kent court since 2010.

He has form when it comes to outspoken comments. Earlier in the year, Legal Cheek reported that Carey went on what local media described as a “rant” after a rape trial was halted due to a leaky roof.

And in May, he questioned the below-average rate of guilty pleas in his area, asking “is it something in the water at Maidstone Crown Court? Is it because defendants think that Maidstone juries are susceptible to risible defences?”

The most recent complaint came to light when 187 Fleet Street criminal barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland spotted a picture of the letter and posted it on Twitter.

The official HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) account replied to Fitch-Holland saying that administrators were working to sort the issue out and had been in touch with Carey. A HMCTS spokesperson also said:

“We take the safety of court users and staff extremely seriously, and it is absolutely right that robust security measures are in place. Occasionally this can result in delays, but are working closely with Mitie to address these issues.”

Mitie itself said that:

“We are working with our client to review the queuing situation outside Maidstone Combined Court and are already providing additional security officers. With only one search arch which all court attendees must pass through, there will inevitably be a queue at busy times, however, working as quickly as we can whilst ensuring the safety of everyone entering the court is our primary focus.”

Court security procedures have a real knack for bugging lawyers. New rules requiring lawyers to “sip test” drinks brought into court, enacted over the summer, have also prompted complaints.

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