Saving two courts is right move

The news this week that the Sheriff courts Selkirk and Jedburgh are to be retained has been welcomed by local campaigners as justice served, and should put to an end months of uncertainty.

The recommendation was part of a feasibility study into the future of justice services in the Borders, in which a working group looked at three possible options, the others being one large central justice centre in Galashiels, or a number of smaller centres throughout the region.

The study decided the best approach was to keep the two courts but improve the use of technology between them.

And the recommendation was accepted by the Scottish Court Service Board, with SCS chief executive Eric McQueen saying: “I am confident this gives us a solid platform to deliver the best services for the people of the Scottish Borders.”

The study makes for interesting reading, and offers reassurance, in that there has been a drop in serious cases coming before a jury over the last three years in the Borders, with the same being said for the less serious cases which make up the bulk of Sheriff Court criminal business.

But of the cases that do come to court, it is right that people have them heard and dealt with here in the Borders, without stress, time and cost being added for all those involved.