Sun, 19 May 2024

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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
Home affairs
Press releases

Boris Johnson orders review so violent criminals 'get the sentence they deserve'

2 min read

Boris Johnson has ordered an urgent review of sentencing policy, saying “the punishment must truly fit the crime” for offenders.

The Prime Minister said dangerous criminals “must be kept off our streets, serving the sentences they deserve” as he launched the Government inquiry.

Reporting directly to him, it will first focus on violent and sexual offenders, and will consider whether changes in legislation are needed to lock them up for longer.

The review team will also look at “how to break the cycle of repeat offenders”, the rules on when and how serious criminals are released from prison early, and the length of jail terms for the the most prolific offenders.

The announcement will fuel speculation the PM is preparing for an early general election, as the results will be revealed this autumn.

Mr Johnson will host leaders from the police, probation and prison sectors to discuss how to cut crime on Monday.

Ahead of the review he said: “Dangerous criminals must be kept off our streets, serving the sentences they deserve – victims want to see it, the public want to see it and I want to see it.

“To ensure confidence in the system, the punishment must truly fit the crime.

“We have all seen examples of rapists and murderers let out too soon or people offending again as soon as they’re released.

“This ends now. We want them caught, locked up, punished and properly rehabilitated.”

But the Lib Dems were critical of the plans, with the party’s justice spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse saying: “For years, Labour and Tory ministers have made sentences longer and longer, without any evidence that they prevent crime.

"It may sound tough, but it hasn't made our communities any safer. All it does is overcrowd our prisons and waste millions of pounds.

"We do need a sentencing review, but its aim should be to reverse decades of pointless sentence inflation. Instead of just talking tough, it's time ministers look at the evidence."

The Government has also announced a further £85 million has been awarded to the Crown Prosecution Service to build capacity and manage caseloads over the next two years.

And it comes after the PM announced on Sunday an investment of up to £2.5 billion to create 10,000 extra prison places.

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