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Courthouse Security Stepped Up 18 August 2004

The General Registry has announced that security search procedures at the Island's main Courthouse Building are to take effect on Monday 23rd August 2004 for a trial period of 3 months.

Visitors to the Courthouse building will be required to pass through a metal detecting arch before entering, after which a visual search of any bags will take place. The purpose of the search procedure is to prevent any articles that may be used as an offensive weapon or are classed as prohibited items or could be a security risk from being brought into the Courthouse.

Search procedures have become necessary as a step towards endeavouring to provide safety and security for all users of the Courthouse building.

The measures being introduced follow practices already followed in United Kingdom Courts and for visitors to the Tynwald public gallery. The introduction of security search procedures is supported by the Judiciary and by the Justice Working Group, a multi-agency forum comprising the Law Society, Probation Service, the Police, the Witness Support Service and the General Registry.

Chief Registrar of the General Registry Mrs Angela Lloyd-Humphreys said:

"It is unfortunate that various contributory factors over a period of time mean that we must now take the steps to introduce security and safety measures but this must be done in an effort to prevent a serious incident from occurring. I am committed to ensuring that an appropriate and safe environment exists for the Judiciary, staff and all users of the courthouse building and I hope that any inconvenience experienced by Courthouse users will be minimal."

Only the main Courthouse building, housing the criminal courts, is to be subject to the new procedures at this time, however consideration is being given to the introduction of a similar initiative for the civil courts in the adjacent Registries building.

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