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Thu, 1 October 2020

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Boris Johnson vows sentencing crackdown for child killers as Number 10 relaunches domestic agenda

Boris Johnson vows sentencing crackdown for child killers as Number 10 relaunches domestic agenda
2 min read

Boris Johnson is set to vow that "life means life" for killers of young children, as Downing Street makes a fresh domestic policy push after weeks of Brexit drama.


The Telegraph reports that Number 10 will use the ongoing prorogation of Parliament to outline a string of hardline criminal justice policies, including a dramatic ramping up of minimum tariffs for violent offences.

The push comes in spite of Mr Johnson losing his Commons majority after a string of Conservative sackings and defections, and ahead of a widely-expected general election before the end of the year.

The Prime Minister will reportedly use the Queen's Speech to annonounce a new Sentencing Bill as well as a batch of statutory instruments - which do not usually require a Commons vote - to make his plans law.

A Government source told The Telegraph: “Most people think all parties and the courts have lost the plot on sentencing. We agree with the public.

“We will act as quickly and aggressively as we can, given Parliament does not want to do what the people want on crime, just as it doesn’t on Brexit.”

Mr Johnson is set to demand that murderers of pre-school children are automatically subject to whole-life orders, which see prisoners ordered to serve a sentence without the possibility of parole or release.

Ministers are also planning to shift to an "earned-release" system for convicts across the criminal justice system, a move that is likely to see a further swelling of prison numbers, while more crimes are likely to be reviewed under the unduly lenient sentences scheme.

According to The Telegraph, the public will also be given access to sentencing remarks for every Crown Court case in a move one government source said would "remove some of the mystery to help educate people and inform people better about criminal sentencing".

The pledges have already been welcomed by Harry Fletcher, director of the Victims Rights campaign.

He told the paper: "There has been a real concern among victims for many years that tariffs were set too low and that child killers were getting out earlier than families expected, so this move is therefore to be welcomed."

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