RESIDENTS yesterday lamented the loss of Fareham Magistrates’ Court as it heard its final cases.
HM Court & Justice announced earlier this year that the building, constructed in 1994, would be closed within two years and The News revealed last month about its imminent closure.
All cases that were previously heard there will now go to the magistrates’ court in Portsmouth.
Residents have expressed their fears that the area’s justice system will become slower as a result.
Kenneth Babbington, who lives in Gosport, said the closure would have a ‘big impact’ on the city’s court.
He said: ‘It is not going to speed things up for a start.
‘It will mean more delays as the amount of crime is not going to slow up.
‘There will always be crimes committed and it’s just a case of whether our justice system can keep up. However, I don’t think they’ll manage well after this.’
Lewis Hadley, 21, from Portsmouth who works in Fareham, said: ‘I think it will definitely lead to a delay in handling cases at Portsmouth.
‘There will be a lot more cases heard there and it’s just a question of whether the staff will be able to cope.
‘It’s disappointing for me and it will definitely cause problems.’
A consultation launched last year found that Fareham’s court had no staff based permanently on the site.
It was used at approximately 43 per cent of its capacity during 2014/15.