UK & World News
Olympics To Shut Dozens Of London Courtrooms
Around half of the courtrooms handling the most serious criminal cases in London will be closed down during the Olympics, official plans show.
Crown courts near key venues and travel hotspots will stop sitting or offer only a reduced service during the Games.
It is feared travel difficulties will prevent victims, jurors and others getting to and from the venues.
Only 72-75 of the 138 courtrooms in London's 11 crown courts (52%-54%) will be sitting during the 17-day Olympics, which begin on July 27.
The arrangements will come into effect four days earlier on Monday July 23.
Kingston Crown Court will not sit at all when the cycling time trial passes nearby on August 1, and the Royal Courts of Justice will hear only emergency applications on July 30 and 31.
A spokesman for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service said: "Most of the courts and tribunals in London will be operating normally during the Olympics, and will deal with all urgent applications and cases.
"We have only reduced court and tribunal sittings at those buildings close to Olympic venues and known travel hotspots.
"(We) and are in the process of rescheduling listings to ensure that any displaced work is dealt with either before or in the weeks immediately after the Games.
"We have worked with the police and other partners in developing our Olympic planning and have considered how likely travel disruption might affect users getting to and from courts and tribunals."
Southwark, near the busy London Bridge Tube and Overground stations, which has been deemed a travel hotspot, will use just five of its 14 courts.
Snaresbrook, three miles from the Olympic Park in east London, will use five or six of its 21 courts.
In central London, the Old Bailey will see just nine of its 18 courtrooms used while Woolwich, around nine miles from the Olympic Park, will use half of its 12 courts.
Magistrates' courts, county courts and family courts will also be affected. The Games will run until August 12.