Hundreds of crimes are to be dealt with by computer under government plans to speed up justice. Ministers are proposing that people accused of minor offences should be able to indicate a plea online, with an option to have their conviction confirmed and punishment decided by computer.
The plans, to be debated on Tuesday by MPs, will allow for a series of minor crimes, including fare dodging, to be dealt with by a computer without human involvement. If successful, it could be extended to hundreds of summary crimes, including television licence evasion, careless driving, and failing to send a child to school, which carry fines of up to £2,500. More serious offenders, including children accused of burglary, assault and drug possession will also be able to plead guilty online and have their cases heard remotely, although they will have to appear in court for sentencing.