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Crimes of Violence: Acids

Home Office written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress the Government is making on its review of sentencing powers for acid attacks.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Good progress is being made in delivering the Government’s action plan in tackling the use of acid and other corrosives substances in violent attacks.

The Sentencing Council has issued an important clarifying note which makes it clear that the use of a corrosive substance is a factor that shows high culpability on the part of the offender and would indicate a greater level of offence seriousness which should be reflected in sentencing. The Sentencing Council are currently developing a new guideline on possession of dangerous weapons and threats to use them which is expected to be ready in early 2018.

On 14 October we published a consultation paper on offensive and dangerous weapons. This included the proposal to create a new minimum custodial sentence for those convicted of a second or subsequent offence of possessing a corrosive substance in public. The consultation closed on 9 December.

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