Courts need urgent risk assessments to deal with coronavirus threat
The FDA union, which represents prosecutors in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), has welcomed the decision to restrict physical court hearings to a limited number of existing cases in the Crown Court and only the most urgent cases in the Magistrates’ Court. However, urgent risk assessments are now needed to ensure the safety of those attending courts.
FDA National Officer Steven Littlewood yesterday said:
“We have been calling for these measures to be put in place since last week and we welcome the movement from HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) support for it.
“However, we have become increasingly concerned about reports from our members of insanitary conditions and poor facilities in courts in recent weeks. We’ve had members in tears about being asked to go into courts where staff are crammed in together with no access to soap or hand sanitiser.
“We are calling on HMCTS to carry out urgent risk assessments, and we are working directly with the CPS to agree the best way to ensure the safety of staff. In the meantime, we are advising members, in line with CPS guidance, to raise any issues with the judge or magistrate in the first instance and if the court is still unsafe then they should leave and contact the union.”
Notes for editors
- The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
- The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
- The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec.
- For more information contact:
- FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 07738 729 145 or email@example.com
- FDA Communications Officer Scott Dobson on 07727 869 640 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- FDA Head of Communications Kay Hender on 07980 700 747 or email@example.com
Latest News from
Response to the RHI Inquiry16/03/2020 12:15:00
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman responded to the report of the independent public inquiry into the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI Inquiry)
Response to Home Secretary bullying allegations24/02/2020 12:25:00
Home Secretary, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman recently (21 February 2020) responded to reports of bullying complaints made against the Home Secretary.
FDA welcomes “seismic change” for victims of harassment in Parliament11/02/2020 10:25:00
FDA Assistant General Secretary Amy Leversidge yesterday responded to the House of Commons Commission update on an independent complaints process.
FDA to PM: Don't waste time and money on reform for reform's sake16/12/2019 16:20:00
The FDA has warned the government against wasting “time and money” on ill-directed reform, following reports that the new Prime Minister is planning a “revolutionary” shake-up of the civil service.
National Portrait Gallery's three year closure: FDA response07/11/2019 14:37:00
Following the National Portrait Gallery’s announcement that it will close for almost three years, the FDA is urging its staff to immediately join a union.
Flexible working in the civil service can damage career progression, research reveals27/09/2019 10:25:00
New research from the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London has found that there are large barriers to flexible working in the civil service.
FDA to PM: Don’t make our civil servants break the law or their code13/09/2019 13:10:00
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to put an end to worrying speculation and categorically confirm that no civil servant will be asked to “breach their obligation under the civil service code”.
TUC backs the FDA’s call for flexible working11/09/2019 13:10:00
The FDA’s call for the government to promote flexible working at every level across the public sector has been backed by the TUC.
DExEU civil servants “deserve every penny” of pay rise06/09/2019 14:25:00
FDA members working in the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) have voted to accept a pay award which will see average consolidated pay increases of 7.6%, with some members on the bottom of the pay scale receiving increases of up to 11%.