Dangerous Driving Offences (Sentencing)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:02 pm on 4th November 2014.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 5:02 pm, 4th November 2014

I will not. I know that sounds very rude, but I spoke to the Chair before the debate, and because so many people have intervened—that is why I would like a longer debate on the issue at some later point—I will not get through all the points I want to raise if I do. If I get through all the points that I promised my hon. Friend the Member for Reading West I would raise in my response, I will then give way.

The review is massively important, in that it will look not so much at the offences—those are within a different brief—but at what the penalties should be. I will not pre-empt the review but I agree that we need to look carefully at whether the punishment fits the crime. We should look at the difference between driving a car and killing somebody—when drunk, or without insurance, or a licence, or any of those things we know people should have—with the intent to do that and killing a person with intent in any other way. That will be part of the review.

We will consult extensively. I know that families are listening to me—not only those who are here today because of the debate but families across the country—and

I want everybody involved in that consultation. It is vital that not just judges, prosecutors and politicians, but the families of the victims themselves—I would say that as the Victims Minister—are involved.

We can make some changes while the review is going on. For instance, I find it completely perverse that the driving ban that that gentleman—I use that word in inverted commas—was given in court is running while he is serving his sentence in prison. I have never understood the legislation on that. That situation will change, outside of the review. The ban will start when they come out.