THE top judge in England and Wales has called for closer ties between Exmouth and the judiciary - to

THE top judge in England and Wales has called for closer ties between Exmouth and the judiciary - to give residents more confidence in how offenders are dealt with.

THE top judge in England and Wales has called for closer ties between Exmouth and the judiciary - to give residents more confidence in how offenders are dealt with.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, suggested that the Lay Magistracy in Devon should work more closely with the town council.

And, in response, the town council has invited his representative, the bench chairman of Central Devon, Mary Seaton, to give a presentation to councillors next year.

In 2000, the Government concluded that small benches were uneconomical - and Exmouth was one of many smaller courts closed, and amalgamated with others to produce the Central Devon Bench.


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However, there have been concerns that the remoteness of three courts in Exeter, Honiton and Cullompton has led to weaker ties between them and the communities they serve.

Mary Seaton said: "It is in the interests of all communities that they realise they are represented by locally appointed justices, who are volunteers from towns and villages throughout Devon.

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"I believe that a clearer understanding of the role of magistrates would go some way to reassure the population that their area is represented by well-trained men and women.

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