Braverman savages Sunak's new sentencing plans with demands for automatic jail for worst offenders

Suella Braverman has warned that new sentencing guidelines by Rishi Sunak will put public safety at risk.

The former home secretary has now called for automatic jail terms for prolific offenders.

The former home secretary said plans to let offenders facing jail terms of less than 12 months serve their punishment in the community were “misguided”.

She added the plans failed to tackle prolific offenders who were responsible for a disproportionate number of crimes, yet who often escaped justice.

Suella Braverman

Writing in The Telegraph, she said: "The Sentencing Bill aims to ease pressure on the prison estate, but in my opinion will put public safety at risk, place an undue burden on the police and probation service, and potentially lead to an increase in crime.

"In particular, clause 6 of the Bill effectively bans short sentences, that is sentences under 12 months. The Bill, as a whole, also misses the opportunity to bolster penalties for repeat offenders. This is misguided for several reasons.

"Firstly, most crimes are committed by a relatively small proportion of offenders. They wreak havoc and blight communities. As a recent Policy Exchange report found, citing Ministry of Justice data, “prolific offenders” made up more than half of all convictions between 2000 and 2021 despite representing only nine per cent of the nearly six million people convicted of committing a criminal offence.

"Their impact on communities is hugely disproportionate to their number but for 52.7 per cent of convictions they were not sentenced to a term of imprisonment at all. We need to toughen up the law to deal with these career criminals."


Braverman has now proposed criminals who have hit 45 crimes should face a mandatory two-year custodial sentence each time they are convicted of a further serious offence.

A “five strikes and out” amendment has also been tabled by the former home secretary would require immediate jail sentences to be the starting point for any criminal who committed a fifth successive offence.

She added: “Jail time must be used to deter would-be criminals and public safety must come first."

The Bill, announced by Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, in October, brings with it a legal presumption that offenders on facing sentences of under 12 months will have them suspended.

Rishi Sunak

Instead, they will be made to do unpaid community work as their "punishment".

Offenders will be fitted with electronic, GPS, alcohol or drug tags and placed under curfews of up to 20 hours a day at weekends.

Anyone who breaches their suspended sentence would then return to court where they would then have to serve their full term in prison.

Braverman also said that short term sentences were imperative in dissuading criminals to reoffend.

She said: "Secondly, short sentences are an important deterrent against criminality. Without the stint of a few months in prison, many of these criminals will no doubt go on to reoffend. The deterrence of custody will be removed entirely, the incentive to desist from criminality will evaporate and victims will be failed."

An MoJ impact assessment report shows that an average of 3,700 low-level criminals will be spared jail time due to the new plans.

from GB News

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