New Sentencing Guidelines Proposed

The Sentencing Council has today (27 March 2017) published proposed new guidelines covering arson and criminal damage offences. The guidelines, for courts in England and Wales, will help ensure consistent and proportionate sentencing for these offences.

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The introduction of the guidelines is due to existing sentencing guidance for these offences being very restricted. There is some guidance in the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines for arson, criminal damage and racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage offences. However, there are no guidelines for the Crown Court and none for criminal damage/arson with intent to endanger life or reckless as to whether life endangered, or for threats to destroy or damage property.

The DBS is a government organisation in charge for the reporting of convictions and other data to employers and other relevant organisations.

What information is Held?
The DBS holds 3 classes of information:-

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Class 1: spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

Class 2: class 1 information plus police intelligence information.
(e.g. the fact that someone has been arrested for a crime)

Class 3: A list of people on 'barred lists' who are prevented from working with children or vulnerable adults.

In Entick v Carrington (1765), a case concerning the entry to and searching of premises, the court ruled:


“…if this is law it would be found in our books, but no such law ever existed in this country; our law holds the property of every man so sacred, that no man can set his foot upon his neighbour's close without his leave.

Throwing or Conveying 
It may be tempting for friends and family members, possibly for financial gain, to seek to convey articles into prisons. The chance of being caught is high and, possibly for that reason, many who might otherwise be tempted to do so, refrain from doing so.

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Section 40CB of the Prison Act 1952 makes it a criminal offence to ‘throw’ articles into prisons, so launching an item over the outskirts of the prison is no less of a crime than taking it inside when on a visit. It may also be seen as a much harder crime to detect.

Domestic Abuse - legislative changes made by the Government

domestic abuseThey have announced further reforms following on from the recent announcement about the sentencing of Domestic Abuse Offences.
This will make it clear that Domestic Abuse applies to all relationships and victims and includes economic abuse and controlling behaviour.

Domesitc Abuse
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

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