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Swift justice for Olympic offences

Preparations are in place to operate London's law courts 24 hours a day throughout the London Olympics 2012, in order to facilitate 'fast-track' justice plans, standard.co.uk reports.

Prosecutors have proposed the swift system as a contingency measure to deal with 'Olympic crimes', should there be a surge in the levels of criminal activity. Crimes committed near venues or by spectators, officials or athletes will be given the label 'Olympics offence'.

Chief crown prosecutor for London, Alison Saunders, said that the plans have been drawn up to ensure 'offenders are brought to justice as swiftly as possible'. Measures already implemented include the doubling of court hours, allowing for round-the-clock hearings and the concept of 'virtual courts' - whereby arrested individuals can give evidence from police cells, minimising the need for transportation.

Ms Saunders said that the aim was to enable the justice system to resolve lower-level crimes, such as pick-pocketing and ticket-touting, before parties leave London for home. She said that lessons had been learnt from last year's riots, bbc.co.uk writes, where offenders appeared in court within days.

"We want people to be confident crime will be dealt with quickly and effectively. Many people who come to the Olympics won't live here, so it's important that if offences are committed, we act quickly. People who commit offences on Tuesday will be in court on Wednesday," Ms Saunders said.

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