The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was introduced today and it is a bill that is aimed at equipping the police with tools and powers they need to protect themselves and the public while the Government overhauls sentencing to keep serious sexual and violent offenders behind bars for much longer. There will also be a look into the rehabilitation support available for other crimes to help cut reoffending and assist ex-offenders with integrating back into society after release.
Cutting crime levels and creating safer communities will be at the heart of the new legislation and there will be some tweaks to legislation currently in place, for instance widening laws which prevent adults in ‘positions of trust’ from engaging with people under 18 to finally include sports coaches, religious leaders and other occupations that work closely with young people. Stop and search powers will be reviewed again to make knife checks easier and the police will be issued more powers to tackle unauthorised encampments on private land, better manage protests where they threaten public order or damage statues and to increase penalties for assaults against emergency workers.
The length of sentencing will be reviewed to include whole life orders for child killers, ending the automatic half-sentence release and reviewing community sentences to ensure they are strict and actually tackling the underlying causes of crime.
Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland QC said:
This government has pledged to crack down on crime and build safer communities. Today we are delivering on that commitment.
We are giving the police and courts the powers they need to keep our streets safe, while providing greater opportunities for offenders to turn their lives around and better contribute to society.
At the same time, we are investing hundreds of millions to deliver speedier justice and boost support for victims, and will continue to do everything it takes to build back confidence in the criminal justice system.
Better data sharing between crime services and millions of pounds to be invested in the courts will also feature to help deliver faster justice and boost access to victim support.
Keep an eye on the House as this one will be contentious but I expect it will be largely welcomed by the public who do want to see a tougher stance on crime and better rehabilitation for ex-offenders.