Woolwich Crown Court
, located at 2 Belmarsh Road, Thamesmead
is one of twelve Crown Courts
serving Greater London
It stands adjacent to both HM Prison Belmarsh
and Belmarsh Magistrate's Court
. Operational from 1993, it has 7 courtrooms and deals with more than 750 cases a year. Until recently, terrorist cases in the London
area would be heard at the Old Bailey
. However, Woolwich Crown Court has been designed as a high security courtroom and so now is the preferred venue for such trials.
Recent improvements have been made to courtrooms 1 and 2 at the cost of £600,000 to enhance their ability to handle complex terrorism trials, particularly those involving multiple defendants. A tunnel links the court to HM Prison Belmarsh
, which is a maximum security facility. This provides a secure route for bringing defendants in high-profile terrorist cases before the court. Armed police are often deployed to provide additional security.
On 15 January 2007 Woolwich Crown Court began hearing the trial of the six men accused of attempting the 21 July 2005 London bombings
on the London transport network. It is also the venue for the trials of those charged with offences from the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot