Your safety and security in court
Your safety at court
Your safety is important to us. If you are concerned about coming to court because you are worried about your safety please contact the relevant court registry prior to your court date to discuss what options are available to you.
Most court houses have a safe place for you to wait for your case to be heard. If you are a witness for the prosecution you should also contact the police officer in charge of the case.
If you become concerned about your safety while at court speak to a Sheriffs Officer or security officer. Alternatively, go to the registry counter and speak to a registry officer about your concerns.
Security in court
Many courts have airport-style security at the entrance to prevent unauthorised items being taken into the court premises.
When you enter a court building that has security checking, you will be required to place all of your belongings on the baggage scanner. You will need to go through a walk-through metal detector and may also be scanned with a hand-held metal detector.
Temporary and random scanning operations are held from time to time in courts without permanent screening points. You may also be required to undergo a personal search and remove face coverings for identification purposes.
The Court Security Act 2005 provides for security of courts and powers of security officers. Not complying with lawful directions given by a security officer under this Act may be an offence.
Items that cannot be brought into court premises include firearms, knives and weapons, things that could be used as weapons or that could conceal weapons. It is an offence to bring these items into a court house and therefore they will be confiscated by security and handed to police.
Security officers may hold other items, which are not authorised, until you leave the premises. These include:
- tools, such as screwdrivers, spanners and hammers
- scissors, metal cutlery and other sharp items
- motorcycle helmets
- syringes, which you do not have medical authority to use.
These items will be returned to you when you leave the court premises.
Threats, including comments made about carrying weapons or explosives or intentions to cause damage or harm, will be taken seriously and entry to the building may be refused. Police may also be called.
Use of mobile phones, cameras and recording equipment
It is an offence to take photographs or to use audio recording devices in courtrooms and court premises. Permission to use these devices must be sought from a judicial officer.
Mobile phones must not disrupt court proceedings. Phones must be switched off before you enter courtrooms.