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Local Democracy Reporter
Crime victims are being "badly let down" by a major backlog in court cases, the shadow justice secretary has said.
Speaking during a visit to Nottingham, David Lammy said the government "urgently" needed to set up a Nightingale court in the East Midlands to help clear a backlog of about 41,000 crown court cases.
The government currently has plans for 10 Nightingale courts, but the nearest to Nottingham are in Leeds and Peterborough.
Mr Lammy, a former barrister and Labour MP for Tottenham, said: "If you have experienced serious crime, a serious sexual offence, murder or manslaughter or serious robbery, you want to see justice delivered, and you want it delivered in a speedy way.Copyright: BBC
"You certainly don't want a situation in which the delays are so extensive that evidence is lost or not as good, memories are forgotten, and someone gets off.
"That's why the backlog that's mounting is worrying. It's why the government needs to bring forward, rapidly, Nightingale courts, and there isn't one in this region.
"Nottingham also takes cases from the Derby area, Lincoln, so if you're not bringing forward some of the cases that are happening in this city, and you're having to take cases from other places, plus you've got local courts like Mansfield that are closed, you can see there's going to be a lot of pressure building up in the system."
The Ministry of Justice has been approached for comment.
By Leila Nathoo
BBC political correspondent
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