Sentencing Tariffs

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th March 1998.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, Cotswold 12:00 am, 30th March 1998

What plans he has to amend the tariff system on length of sentences for serious indictable offences. [35163]

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State, Home Office

We have no plans to amend the tariff systems that apply to mandatory and discretionary life sentences. We intend to ensure that courts have the powers they need. Severe maximum penalties and in some cases minimum and mandatory penalties are available for serious indictable offences. We will keep these penalties under review.

Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, Cotswold

Does the Minister agree that persistent and repeated offences of burglary and serious drug dealing are a scourge on society? Does he recall that we proposed in our manifesto mandatory sentences for such offences? Will he consider introducing such mandatory sentences? If not, how does he intend to enhance Labour's reputation, enunciated by the Prime Minister before the election, to the effect that he would be tough on crime and on the causes of crime?

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State, Home Office

The hon. Gentleman should be aware that the Government are tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. He should also be aware, although it was not part of our manifesto, that we have implemented mandatory sentences in the way proposed by the former Government.