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Violent Offences

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 28th June 2011.

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Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Liberal Democrat, St Ives 2:30 pm, 28th June 2011

What steps he plans to protect the public from persons convicted of violent offences.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

We have made it clear that we are committed to retaining the statutory multi-agency public protection arrangements, known as MAPPA. Within MAPPA, the police, prison and probation services are required to work together to manage known violent and other dangerous offenders and so protect the public, including previous victims.

Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Liberal Democrat, St Ives

I hope that the Minister agrees that the primary purpose of custodial sentencing must be public protection. Does he accept that the greater use of mandatory sentencing runs the risk of judges not being able to use their discretion to ensure that the public are protected in the long run?

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

The only element of mandatory sentencing we are contemplating relates to knife crime, so that it is absolutely clear that this House sends a very clear message on that. I am sure that right hon. and hon. Members will think it appropriate that people spend six months in prison when they threaten people with a knife.