The Government has announced that more dangerous criminals will be given life sentences. There will be automatic prison sentences for knife criminals and more common sense will be brought into sentencing.
The changes include:
- · Prison for knife crime – any adult convicted of using a knife to threaten and endanger will go to jail, and 16 and 17 year-olds will face a mandatory detention order.
· A ‘two strikes’ policy so that a mandatory life sentence will be given to anyone convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent crime. Currently, mandatory life sentences are only given for murder.
· Extending the category of the most serious sexual and violent offences to include child sex offences, terrorism and ‘causing or allowing the death of a child’.
· Ending the practice of releasing dangerous sexual and violent offenders halfway through their sentence. All offenders will serve at least two-thirds of their sentence and those convicted of the most serious crimes will not be released before the end of their sentence without Parole Board approval.
· These criminals will then have to serve extended licence periods, where they will be closely monitored and can be returned to prison.
Announcing the proposal, the Justice Secretary said that the new regime would restore “clarity, coherence and common sense” to sentencing.
Commenting, Greg Hands M.P. said: “These changes are particularly welcome in London, where we have seen all too many incidents of serious assault and knife crime in recent years.
“The new sentences send a clear message: if you get caught, you are going to be spending a long time in prison.”