Prison Sentences

Justice written question – answered on 4th March 2014.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Shadow Minister (London), Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many people were convicted of (a) burglary, (b) sexual assault, (c) grievous bodily harm, (d) rape, (e) manslaughter, (f) attempted murder, (g) forgery, (h) fraud, (i) theft of a motor vehicle, (j) theft from a person, (k) robbery, (l) sexual activity with a child under 16, (m) sexual activity with a child under 13, (n) sexual assault of a female, (o) rape of a male, (p) rape of a female, (q) sexual assault of a male, (r) child abduction, (s) abandoning children aged under two years, (t) cruelty or neglect of children, (u) wounding or other acts endangering life, (v) causing death by aggravated vehicle-taking, (w) causing death by driving while unlicensed or uninsured, (x) causing death of a child or a vulnerable person, (y) causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, (z) manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, (aa) causing death by reckless driving, (bb) threat or conspiracy to murder, (cc) perverting the course of justice, (dd) violent disorder, (ee) kidnapping, (ff) blackmail, (gg) intent to supply a controlled drug, (hh) possession of a controlled drug, (ii) criminal damage, (jj) arson, (kk) common assault, (ll) dangerous driving and (mm) firearms offences and received a custodial sentence of (i) less than six months, (ii) less than 12 months, (iii) less than two years and (iv) less than four years in each of the last 12 months;

(2) what the average length of custodial sentence was for all people convicted of a crime in each year from 2002 to 2013;

(3) what the average length was of custodial sentence given to those convicted of (a) burglary, (b) sexual assault, (c) grievous bodily harm, (d) rape, (e) manslaughter, (f) attempted murder, (g) forgery, (h) fraud, (i) theft of a motor vehicle, (j) theft from a person, (k) robbery, (l) sexual activity with a child under 16 years, (m) sexual activity with a child under 13 years, (n) sexual assault of a female, (o) rape of a male, (p) rape of a female, (q) sexual assault of a male, (r) child abduction, (s) abandoning children aged under two years, (t) cruelty or neglect of children, (u) wounding or other acts endangering life, (v) causing death by aggravated vehicle-taking, (w) causing death by driving while unlicensed or uninsured, (x) causing death of a child or a vulnerable person, (y) causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, (z) manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, (aa) causing death by reckless driving, (bb) threat or conspiracy to murder, (cc) perverting the course of justice, (dd) violent disorder, (ee) kidnapping, (ff) blackmail, (gg) intent to supply a controlled drug, (hh) possession of a controlled drug, (ii) criminal damage, (jj) arson, (kk) common assault, (ll) dangerous driving and (mm) firearms offences in each year since 2002;

(4) what proportion of those convicted of (a) burglary, (b) sexual assault, (c) grievous bodily harm, (d) rape, (e) manslaughter, (f) attempted murder, (g) forgery, (h) fraud, (i) theft of a motor vehicle, (j) theft from a person, (k) robbery, (l) sexual activity with a child under 16 years, (m) sexual activity with a child under 13 years, (n) sexual assault of a female, (o) rape of a male, (p) rape of a female, (q) sexual assault of a male, (r) child abduction, (s) abandoning children aged under two years, (t) cruelty or neglect of children, (u) wounding or other acts endangering life, (v) causing death by aggravated vehicle-taking, (w) causing death by driving while unlicensed or uninsured, (x) causing death of a child or a vulnerable person, (y) causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, (z) manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, (aa) causing death by reckless driving, (bb) threat or conspiracy to murder, (cc) perverting the course of justice, (dd) violent disorder, (ee) kidnapping, (ff) blackmail, (gg) intent to supply a controlled drug, (hh) possession of a controlled drug, (ii) criminal damage, (jj) arson, (kk) common assault, (ll) dangerous driving and (mm) firearms offences received a custodial sentence in each year since 2002;

(5) in how many and what proportion of cases of (a) burglary, (b) sexual assault, (c) grievous bodily harm, (d) rape, (e) manslaughter, (f) attempted murder, (g) forgery, (h) fraud, (i) theft of a motor vehicle, (j) theft from a person, (k) robbery, (l) sexual activity with a child under 16 years, (m) sexual activity with a child under 13 years, (n) sexual assault of a female, (o) rape of a male, (p) rape of a female, (q) sexual assault of a male, (r) child abduction, (s) abandoning children aged under two years, (t) cruelty or neglect of children, (u) wounding or other acts endangering life, (v) causing death by aggravated vehicle-taking, (w) causing death by driving while unlicensed or uninsured, (x) causing death of a child or a vulnerable person, (y) causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, (z) manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, (aa) causing death by reckless driving, (bb) threat or conspiracy to murder, (cc) perverting to course of justice, (dd) violent disorder, (ee) kidnapping, (ff) blackmail, (gg) intent to supply a controlled drug, (hh) possession of a controlled drug, (ii) criminal damage, (jj) arson, (kk) common assault, (ll) dangerous driving and (mm) firearms offences in 2012 which resulted in a non-custodial sentence a victim impact statement was read out in court;

(6) in how many and what proportion of cases of (a) burglary, (b) sexual assault, (c) grievous bodily harm, (d) rape, (e) manslaughter, (f) attempted murder, (g) forgery, (h) fraud, (i) theft of a motor vehicle, (j) theft from a person, (k) robbery, (l) sexual activity with a child under 16 years, (m) sexual activity with a child under 13 years, (n) sexual assault of a female, (o) rape of a male, (p) rape of a female, (q) sexual assault of a male, (r) child abduction, (s) abandoning children aged under two years, (t) cruelty or neglect of children, (u) wounding or other acts endangering life, (v) causing death by aggravated vehicle-taking, (w) causing death by driving while unlicensed or uninsured, (x) causing death of a child or a vulnerable person, (y) causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, (z) manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, (aa) causing death by reckless driving, (bb) threat or conspiracy to murder, (cc) perverting the course of justice, (dd) violent disorder, (ee) kidnapping, (ff) blackmail, (gg) intent to supply a controlled drug, (hh) possession of a controlled drug, (ii) criminal damage, (jj) arson, (kk) common assault, (ll) dangerous driving and (mm) firearms offences in 2012 which resulted in a custodial sentence a victim impact statement was read out in court;

(7) what proportion of persons convicted were given custodial sentences in each year from 2002 to 2013.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the courts, within the maximum penalty set by Parliament for the offence. Since 2010, those who break the law are now more likely to go to prison, and they go to prison for longer. In 2012, 26% of offenders convicted of an indictable offence were sentenced to immediate custody with an average sentence length of 17.0 months compared with 24% of offenders convicted of an indictable offence in 2010 with an average custodial sentence length of 16.2 months. This Government is creating a tough justice system with severe penalties available for serious offenders. We have already introduced automatic life sentences for a second serious sexual or violent offence, and we have announced plans to end automatic early release for child rapists, terrorists and all dangerous offenders. Our radical reforms to rehabilitation will mean for the first time every offender leaving prison spends at least 12 months under supervision, where currently around 50,000 are released each year with no statutory support. This will start to address the scandalous gap that allows our most chaotic offenders to leave prison with no support or supervision to turn their lives around.

The table shows for offences referred to in the questions above, and for total offences, the number of offenders convicted, sentenced and sentenced to immediate custody in England and Wales, 2002 to 2012 (latest available). The table includes the custody rate, a breakdown of sentence length and the average custodial sentence length. Data for 2013 will be published in May 2014.

The data requested is a sub-set of those sentenced for indictable offences in this period and excludes data on a range of other serious offences (particularly some sexual and drug offences). It is inadvisable to draw conclusions on sentencing practice based on figures for individual offences which may be misleading when small numbers are sentenced. The overall immediate custody rate and average custodial sentence length for indictable offences have both increased since 2002.

Custody rates are highest for the most serious offences.

Data is not centrally held that would allow us to separately identify whether, in all the cases for the offences listed which resulted in a custodial and non-custodial sentence, a victim impact statement was read out in court. As such, this information can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The table will be placed in the Library of the House.

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