Sentencing Review

This week the Prime Minister announced a review into sentencing for the most dangerous and prolific offenders.

The review is focusing on violent and sexual offenders and whether they are serving the sentences ‘that truly reflect the severity of their crimes’.

It will also look at when and how these offenders are released.

I welcome this review which is part of the new Prime Minister’s commitment to making changes to the criminal justice system to further protect the public.

Since I became an MP in 2010, I have campaigned for tougher sentencing for many crimes.  One area I have had a particular interest in has been calling for the scope of the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme to be extended. This scheme allows members of the public, including victims of crime, to appeal for sentences to be increased if they are deemed too lenient.

In the past few years it has been extended to include more crimes, but I believe it should be further extended as many sentences referred to the scheme to be reviewed are rejected as they do not fall within its scope.

The sentencing review announcement comes just days after the Government announced that £2.5 billion will be spent on the prison system with the creation of 10,000 extra prison spaces and a further £85m in extra funding has been given to the CPS.

The Government has also announced there will be funding for 20,000 extra police officers over the next three years and enhanced stop and search powers have been rolled out to all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

I hope all these measures will make our country safer and send a clear message to criminals that they will be caught and punished accordingly.