Today, the Ministry of Justice has released it’s A Smarter Approach to Sentencing White Paper, which includes sweeping reforms to introduce stricter sentencing for the most violent offenders and tackling criminal behaviour at its cause.
The White Paper has been welcomed by Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, who over her time as MP has been concerned with a number of cases where the offenders sentences were too low. This includes the tragic death of Baby Stanley in 2017, where Caroline wrote to the then Attorney General Geoffrey Cox asking for a review of the sentences of Roxanne and Sam Davies. This followed an online petition signed by more than 15,500 people calling for longer jail time for the couple.
Following the tragic killing of Olivia Lewry and Jasmine Allsop in 2013, Caroline also lobbied the then-Prime Minister David Cameron direct for tougher sentences for those who kill through reckless driving.
Measures announced today include Whole Life Orders for child killers, stricter sentences for sexual and violent offenders and new powers to stop the automatic release of offenders who pose a terrorist threat. The new legislation will also introduce life sentences for killer drivers
“I know that many constituents share my frustration with a number of cases in our constituency over the years where violent offenders have received insufficient sentences, and are released onto our streets too soon.
“The White Paper recommendations are very welcome, where we will see the most violent offenders behind bars for longer. But importantly, it will also work to tackle crime at its root cause and rehabilitate offenders.”
The most vulnerable offenders will be diverted to treatments when they do not pose a threat to the public, with substance abuse and mental health programmes.”
Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland QC said:
“For too long our justice system has been beset by complex and confusing laws which the public often feel fail in their most essential aims - to keep them safe and properly punish offenders.
“That ends today. This White Paper is the first step in a fundamental shift in our approach to sentencing, towards one that is fairer, smarter and ultimately better protects the public.
“Our measures will ensure the most serious violent and sexual offenders get the prison time they deserve, while new community interventions and changes to rules around criminal records will help boost rehabilitation and cut reoffending - which means creating fewer victims.”