Philip Davies MP urges Government to put victims of crime first

Philip Davies MP has accused Government of failing to sufficiently extend a scheme which allows unduly lenient court sentences to be challenged – and urged them to act to put victims of crime first.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said the move would also help restore people’s trust in the criminal justice system.

The scheme was introduced in 1988 which allowed victims and others to challenge unduly lenient sentences. As it stands it applied to the most serious offences but has been extended to cover a range of terrorist offences. But Mr Davies wants the scheme to include more crimes.

Speaking in Parliament Mr Davies said: “It has been a long standing promise of this government to extend the unduly lenient scheme to other offences and apart from a bit of tinkering around it basically has done very little. So I urge the Solicitor General to get on with it so we can have appropriate sentences which is good for victims but also for restoring people’s faith in the criminal justice system.”

He said the commitment was made in the Conservative Party Manifesto and the public voted to see the change implemented.

Solicitor General Lucy Frazer said: “I can assure him this is something I am looking at together with the Ministry of Justice but I think the increase in the number of offences is more than just tinkering. Since it has been inception it has been extended to some sexual offences, child cruelty, and modern slavery and in 2017 and 2018 a number of terror related sentences as well, but this is something we are looking at.”

Mr Davies said government needed to restore its position of the party of law and order and by doing this would go some way to rebuilding that reputation.

He added: “I regularly criticise the justice system, but one of the good things about it is the ability to challenge sentences that fall outside the normal bounds of leniency. I have successfully used that provision a few times, and we owe it to victims of crime to extend the scheme.”

Currently a sentence can be challenged within 28 days if it is included in the scheme but Mr Davies wants the time period extended to give the victims or other organisations time to submit a case.