Child Abuse Offences (Sentencing) — [Mrs Madeleine Moon in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:24 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 5:24 pm, 13th March 2017

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that important issue. He must have read my mind, because I was coming to it. The manifesto we stood on does mean something, and I am pleased to confirm that the Attorney General is undertaking that work as we speak. The scope of unduly lenient sentences is being reviewed at the moment. I hope that gives my hon. Friend the satisfaction for which he rightly asks.

I was asked by other hon. Members to look at other aspects of the criminal justice system. Although they are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, I will do so. I agree that it is important that, if perpetrators who are arrested have a range of digital devices, they should be forfeited and searched for inappropriate images. As we have heard, that puts a lot of demand on the police, but new digital tools, such as CAID and fingerprinting, enable much faster recognition of images and should enable the police to manage the increased demand.