The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act

Information relating to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022.

The first duty of government is to protect its citizens and communities, keep them safe and to ensure that they can get on with their daily lives peacefully and without unnecessary interference. The measures in the Act are directed to this end. They:

  • protect the police and other emergency workers and enhance the wellbeing of police officers and staff
  • protect the public by giving the police the tools needed to tackle crime and disorder, and by addressing the root causes of serious violent crime using multi-agency approaches to prevention
  • uphold the right to peaceful protest while providing the police with the necessary powers to stop disruptive protests from disproportionately infringing on the rights and freedoms of others
  • strengthen police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments
  • ensure serious criminals spend longer in custody, including: ending the automatic halfway release point from prison for an additional cohort of serious sexual and violent offenders and making a Whole Life Order the starting point for the premeditated murder of a child
  • make community sentences more effective so that they offer an appropriate level of punishment and address the underlying drivers of offending, including: piloting a problem-solving court approach for certain community and suspended sentence orders and extending the use of Electronic Monitoring
  • strengthen alternatives to custody for children who have offended which promote rehabilitation, and raise the threshold for custodial remand, while at the same time ensuring that children who commit serious offences and pose a risk to the public receive sentences that reflect the seriousness of their offending
  • empower future providers of Secure Schools, which represent our vision for the future of youth custody: schools with security, rather than prisons with education; with education, healthcare and purposeful activity at their heart
  • extend the football banning orders regime so that persons convicted of online abuse offences can be made subject to an order
  • modernise our courts and tribunals by updating existing court processes to provide better services for all court users and underpin open justice
  • extend the scheme whereby individuals who hold historical convictions or cautions for same sex sexual activity can apply to have such convictions or cautions “disregarded” so that they are not disclosed on criminal record certificates and to receive a pardon


Published 9 March 2021
Last updated 23 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added Circular 009/2022: Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

  2. Updated to reflect that the bill has received Royal Assent and is now an act.

  3. Added 'Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021: draft guidance'.

  4. Added draft guidance on the Serious Violence Duty.

  5. First published.