Sex offenders could be locked up for longer as Boris vows punishment will fit the crime


BORIS JOHNSON plans to overhaul UK sentencing laws to give courts new powers to jail criminals for longer.

The biggest sentencing overhaul in 16 years will aim to increase time behind bars for serious offenders, violent criminals, rapists and serial offenders. The overhaul will also aim to end the automatic release of prisoners halfway through their sentences as well as putting an end to “super-prolifics” who escape jail despite having up to 50 convictions. Mr Johnson 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.”

Mr Johnson also announced an extra £85million for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to help handle the expected rise in cases as the number of police officers are increased by 20,000 over the next three years.

The changes are likely to be included in a new Criminal Justice Act, removing Labour’s 2003 Act which ended the practice of only allowing earlier release of offenders if they had demonstrated good behaviour in prison and were no longer judged as a threat to the public.

The Prime Minister will host a round table this week, made up of leaders from the police, prison, probation, judicial and victims’ groups.

The aim is to discuss ways to reduce crime, cut re-offending and create a more “transparent and honest” criminal justice system.

Mr Johnson postponed a decision on plans by the previous Justice Secretary David Gauke to scrap sentences under six months, but will continue to presume shortchanged jail terms should be used as a last resort.

As well this alternative community sentences are being beefed upped.

It follows announcements of an extra 10,000 places in prison, backed by £2.5billion of funding, and the extensions of nationwide stop and search powers.

This will aim to make it easier for police to take action where they suspect there may be a risk of serious violence.

The sentencing policy review will begin this week by Whitehall officials who will directly report to Mr Johnson by Autumn of this year.


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