Earlier this month I took part in a debate at the House of Commons on an E-petition relating to sentencing for child abuse offences. The E-petition called April’s Law, was signed by more than 127,000 people, calling for all sex offenders to remain on the register for life no matter the crime. It also calls on service providers and search engines to be better policed regarding child abuse images and harder sentences for those caught with indecent images of children.
Of the 127,000 people who signed the petition, Dartford constituency had the highest number of signatories in the South of England, with 341 people supporting it.
This petition illustrates the strength of feeling on this subject in Dartford and I believe the law should better reflect the seriousness of the offence. There needs to be better protection of children; rehabilitation will always be important, but the protection of children must come first.
Since I have been a Member of Parliament I have argued that we should be extending the scope of the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme for a number of offences. At the moment the creation and distribution of indecent images of children is one of the offences where there is no power for the prosecution to appeal against a sentence if it is too lenient. This is wrong and it is time to change the law and extend the scope of the scheme.