Last-minute delay to hundreds of court hearings due to prison overcrowding in England

Emergency measures mean some suspects will be released on bail and not sent to a cell as trials postponed

Hundreds of court hearings have been postponed at the last minute after ministers introduced emergency measures to deal with overcrowded prisons.

Operation Early Dawn, triggered on Wednesday, means some suspects will be released on bail, rather than sent to a cell, because their trial will be put off. Suspects’ first appearances before magistrates after they have been charged with a crime are also likely to be affected.

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