From today a range of new criminal offences and sentences introduced in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender Act (LASPO) Act 2012 come into effect.
The new offences include a mandatory life sentence for people convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent offence, aggravated knife possession, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, measures to strengthen community sentences and tough new sentences for hate crime.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
‘Criminals should be in no doubt they will be punished for their crimes, with those who commit the most serious offences receiving the most severe sentences.
‘Anyone who commits two very serious sexual or violent offences will get a life sentence, those who try to destroy our communities by threatening and endangering people with knives will face a mandatory custodial sentence and those who devastate lives by dangerous driving will face the harshest penalties.’
The LASPO Act 2012 contains a number of provisions to reform sentencing, reduce offending and reform legal aid. The measures in the Act are being enacted in stages, a new criminal offence of squatting came into effect in September 2012. The remaining provisions will come into effect in 2013.