Since I became the MP for Dartford in 2010, I have campaigned on extending the scope of the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. The ULS scheme allows anyone, including the victim of a crime or a member of the public, to appeal to the Attorney General for a sentence to be reviewed and possibly increased if it is deemed to be too lenient.
The scheme already includes crimes like murder and terrorist offences and over the years it has been extended, most recently in 2019, when a further 14 crimes were added including stalking, harassment, controlling and coercive behaviour and child sexual abuse.
Adding more offences to the ULS scheme addresses the imbalance that exists when defendants can appeal against sentences they deem too tough, but victims cannot appeal against sentences deemed too lenient.
People need to know that when judges get the sentence wrong and they are unduly lenient, it is no longer the end of the matter and sentences can be reviewed and increased. We need to ensure it is the criminals who are under pressure and not the victims.