A BIKE theft will spark a student showdown at High Wycombe Magistrates’ court later this month.

Nearly 100 young people will be fighting it out before the court on Saturday, March 15, but there is no need to despair for the youth of today - these students from across Bucks will be participating in the 2014 Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition.

Groups of 12-14 year olds will take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates, court staff and a defendant in the 20th annual competition, which is run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association.

The students will enact a specially written case in which the defendant stands accused of dishonestly receiving a stolen bicycle.

The competition lets students learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system - the law, procedures, consequences and the staff – and to develop confidence in personal skills such as public speaking, analysis techniques and working as a team.

Local magistrates help the teams prepare by giving information on the everyday workings of magistrates’ courts and hosting court visits. Students may also take part in the court reporter and court artist competitions.

The High Wycombe local heat will host eight schools, on 15th March 2014, including students from High Wycombe, Chesham, Beaconsfield and Aylesbury.

A total of 63 heats are taking place nationwide over the next three weeks, followed regional finals in May before the prestigious national final at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in June 2014.