NIGEL Boddy’s criticism of IT systems in magistrates courts (D&S Times, July 14) is well-founded.

Following initial attempts by other criminal justice system agencies to bring technology into our magistrates courts, the courts themselves have yet to fully, ‘go over’ to digital working and that course, understandably, appears to be being approached with some caution if not, trepidation by the Courts Service with, I understand, plans to suspend for a period, all but the most urgent hearings to assist in court staff getting to grips with the system.

The first CJS Agency to launch ‘IT in place of paper’ some years ago was the Crown Prosecution Service and that initiative was pushed (rather than led), by its then head, none other than the now Labour Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer.

The ‘support’ for key staff of that ‘pioneering’ agency, really only amounting to inadequate training of prosecutors who had to try to use a cumbersome and poorly developed system whist carrying out their more familiar and arguably, more important, duties as professional advocates....with exhortations to, “just get on with it”.

Predictably, too often, it proved to result in time-sapping, chaotic, inefficiency.

Perhaps thankfully other agencies/professionals didn’t quickly follow suit and remained with and reliant upon, the ‘hard copy’ court documents to which Mr Boddy refers and as he asserts, on many occasions, were - still are - the fall back to ensure any case progression at all. It seems that little has changed.

The idea sounds good but as is invariably the case with these initiatives, unless suffi- cient resources and preparation are committed to such complicated projects the result is an inefficient, retrograde, burden rather than a 21st-century improvement.

Stephen Acaster, Hudswell