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Wednesday, 10 March 2021 15:30

Tougher sentences

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Tougher sentences and more police officers will not combat ‘decades of underfunding and mounting backlogs’, lawyers have said in response to the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Legislation due to be unveiled in parliament this afternoon makes numerous changes to sentencing laws to keep serious sexual and violent offenders in prison for longer. The bill also contains new rules to end the need for participants to travel unnecessarily to court by allowing criminal courts to 'maximise the use of video and audio technology as it develops'.

This would give the government the power to introduce remote juries.Under the proposed measures, profoundly deaf people will also be allowed to sit on juries by allowing a British Sign Language interpreter into the deliberation room. Current laws ban the presence of a ‘stranger’ being in the deliberation room.Responding to the bill, chair of the Bar Council Derek Sweeting QC said: ‘The public are entitled to expect that tackling serious crime will be a priority, but politicians have to join up the dots. A crackdown on crime will mean more work for hard pressed courts and those who work in them. Decades of underfunding and mounting backlogs will not be turned around by increases in police numbers and tougher sentences.’ 

For full article https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/justice-bill-crackdown-wont-turn-around-decades-of-underfunding/5107718.article?utm_source=gazette_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New+crime+and+courts+bill+%7c+Home+test+rollout+%7c+Covid%27s+cross-border+challenge_03%2f09%2f2021

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