Offences attracting special custodial sentence for offenders of particular concern: England and Wales

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 2nd July 2020.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Clause 21 substitutes schedule 6 to the Bill for schedule 13 of the sentencing code. It is designed to ensure that, in all circumstances, specified terrorist offenders will spend at least 12 months on licence following their release, even when they are released at the very end of their custodial sentence. It does that by updating the offences that attract a custodial sentence for offenders of particular concern in England and Wales—the so-called SOPC sentence. The updated schedule includes all terrorist offences that carry a maximum penalty of over two years, and it replaces the specified non-terrorist offences that can attract a SOPC when committed in a terrorist capacity with a clause that includes any offence that is determined to have a terrorist connection under section 69 of the sentencing code in the SOPC regime. The changes made to the clause are applicable to those who are convicted of an offence on or after the day on which that provision comes into force, which is the day after the Bill gains Royal Assent.

Adding those offences to the SOPC regime will mean that the court will now be required to impose such a sentence where extended determinate sentences have been considered but not imposed. All such offenders will no longer be eligible for a standard determinate sentence. That is because the time spent on licence—the Bill introduces a minimum of one year—is very important for rehabilitating offenders, as the shadow Minister has said, as well as for protecting the public.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 21 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.