Warrants enter a new world

COURTS throughout NSW are now sending electronically signed arrest warrants for offenders to police.

The innovative system was introduced statewide about five months ago.

It is a national first and other states are likely to follow suit.

All courts in NSW switched over to the new system on the same day.

Albury, like other courts throughout NSW, forwards warrants to police soon after they are issued by magistrates or a judge.

NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard and Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres have both commended the efficiency of the new arrangements.

Mr Hazzard said 99 per cent of arrest warrants issued in criminal proceedings were now electronically signed and transmitted between the courts and police.

“This is the first time in Australia that criminal arrest warrants no longer require a court officer to provide a signature on a piece of paper,” he said.

“The courts can now issue arrest warrants at a click of a button and have them to front-line police within a matter of minutes, ensuring we can better protect victims and the community.”

Mr Hazzard said it also meant orders to revoke happened instantly reducing risks of unlawful arrest.

“Since it began operating in April, we have issued more than 3800 electronic arrest warrants statewide,” he said.

“The government is working hard to improve the way courts operate so we can better support front-line police and keep the community safe.”

Mr Ayres welcomed the introduction of the system of electronic warrants.

“This is a vital link in improving the timeliness, accuracy and integrity of the data exchanged between police and the courts,” Mr Ayres said.

Although most arrest warrants in criminal proceedings are now issued electronically, some are still being manually signed, including those from the Supreme Court and forensic procedure warrants.