News story

Sentencing review to look at most dangerous and prolific offenders

The Ministry of Justice will conduct an urgent review ordered by the Prime Minister, to ensure the public are properly protected from the most dangerous criminals.

Crown Court

The work, which begins immediately, will focus on whether violent and sexual offenders are serving sentences that truly reflect the severity of their crimes.

It will consider whether changes in legislation are needed to lock criminals up for longer – by not letting them out automatically part-way through a sentence. It will also look at how to break the cycle of repeat offending.

It forms part of a government overhaul of the criminal justice system to further protect the public – by cracking down on crime, raising prison standards, rehabilitating offenders and cutting the vicious cycle of re-offending.

The government review team will report back directly to the Prime Minister with recommendations this autumn.

Specifically, the review will look at:

  • Sentencing for the most serious violent and sexual offenders;
  • The rules governing when and how these offenders are released; and
  • Sentencing of the most prolific offenders.

Today (12 August 2019) also sees a further £85 million awarded to the Crown Prosecution Service to build capacity and manage caseloads over the next 2 years.

Justice Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, said:

Too often the public and victims feel that violent and sexual offenders are being released early and without a proper deterrent to stop their offending.

We must ensure that there is confidence in the system, which is why my department will undertake an urgent review of how and when these offenders are released – to better protect the public and end the cycle of reoffending.

This work is a priority for the Government and will report back to the Prime Minister with recommendations to ensure punishments properly reflect the severity of their crimes.

In addition, today the Prime Minister and Justice Secretary are meeting leaders from the police, probation and prison sectors to discuss how to cut crime and improve the criminal justice system.

It comes as an extra £2.5 billion investment has been announced to create 10,000 extra prison places, starting with the new Full Sutton prison.

This follows announcements to recruit 20,000 new police officers over the next three years and the Home Secretary’s confirmation that all 43 police forces in England and Wales can use enhanced stop and search powers.

Published 12 August 2019