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HomeLegal NewsFour justice bills become law today

Four justice bills become law today

The government hopes to protect the public better and restore confidence in the criminal justice system, after four major bills became law today.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act equips the police with the powers and tools they need to combat crime and create safer communities, while overhauling sentencing laws to keep serious sexual and violent offenders behind bars for longer.

New court orders will crack down on knife crime, making it easier to stop and search known knife offenders and prevent future tragedies. Alongside this a new legal duty will be placed on different parts of the public sector to work together to tackle serious violence.

The act will also give greater protection to the vulnerable – domestic abuse victims will be given more time to report incidents of common assault or battery and higher maximum penalties will be introduced for child cruelty offences. Judges will now be able to hand down life sentences to dangerous drivers who kill on our roads and the act also halts the automatic early release of offenders deemed to be a danger to the public.

Home secretary Priti Patel said: “This act will support the 20,000 additional police recruits that will be in place this time next year to reduce serious violence, including knife crime and domestic abuse, and make sure the very worst criminals are thrown behind bars for the longest possible time.”

The PCSC Act also doubles the maximum penalty from 12 months to 2 years for those who assault police or other emergency workers, such as prison officers, fire service personnel or frontline health workers – helping to protect those who put their lives on the line to keep communities safe. It will also bring ‘Harpers Law’ onto the statute book, introducing mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker whilst committing a crime.

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