This week in Parliament I will be supporting the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill.
The Bill will help to equip our police with the powers and tools to protect themselves and the public, while overhauling sentencing laws for some of the most serious offences.
Sentencing reforms will include Whole Life Orders for child killers, with judges also allowed to give this punishment to 18 to 20 year olds in exceptional cases, such as for acts of terrorism which cause mass loss of life. Those who commit the most heinous of crimes should spend the rest of their days behind bars.
Other important measures will include the introduction of life sentences for killer drivers wreaking havoc on our roads.
Drivers who cause fatal accidents while racing, using a mobile phone or those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol will now face life sentences. It is right for these reforms to ensure that such offenders face the full force of the law.
Automatic early release of those convicted of serious violent and sexual offences will be stopped.
Laws on ‘positions of trust’ to protect teenagers from abuse will be extended to include sports coaches and religious leaders, reinforcing the clear message that young people must not be abused by the very individuals that they look up to and seek guidance from.
The legislation will also make sure that community sentences are stricter and target better the underlying causes of crime, which can include mental health issues, alcohol or drug addiction.
Further work to tackle serious violent crime will come from the Government recently announcing more than an extra £514,500 for Sussex Police in this regard.
This additional support from central government will complement the work of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, who continues to ensure that people throughout our county can live their lives free from the fear of crime.
The recently-announced plans will build on existing work undertaken in recent years. The Government remains on track to deliver on its manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 extra police officers by 2023, indeed the first target of 6,000 new officers by March 2021 was exceeded some weeks ago.
Sussex Police has been boosted by an additional 129 officers as part of the national recruitment drive, with a further 50 new officers recruited by Katy Bourne’s initiative locally.
Henry Smith MP