Sentencing White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 12:40 pm, 16th September 2020

The hon. Lady quite rightly refers to what is often termed the justice gap: the difference between crimes that are reported and the bringing of those offences to full prosecution. The sad truth is that not all offences have the requisite evidence for the threshold to be met, and that is why we have an independent prosecutorial service in this country. She is right to talk about the need for us to bear down most heavily on investigation. Increasing the numbers of police officers—we are already 4,000 up on where we were, and we will hit the 20,000 target and, I believe, move beyond it—will help to turbocharge the investigation and prosecution of offences so that we can, in large measure, help to close that gap.