Latest signs of a renewed law and order auction

Thursday, 08 May, 2014

The law and order rhetoric appears to be heating up in advance of the 2015 General Election and in reaction to the fatal stabbing of school teacher Ann Maguire.

According to The Daily Telegraph prisoners, the Conservative manifesto will promise that prisoners sentenced for violence or sexual offences will no longer be eligible for release at the halfway point of their sentence. The paper also reports on new proposals for 30 year minimum sentences for killing a police or prison officer on duty.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg sets out his opposition to six month minimum sentences for knife possession in The Guardian. Referring to Ann Maguire's death, he writes:

'Everybody has been shaken by the death of Ann Maguire and the notion that any teacher should lose their life in the classroom. It was especially poignant because she was clearly such a widely respected and loved teacher. But in the aftermath of terrible events such as this we have to be careful that we don't simply reach for headline-grabbing solutions that don't necessarily work in practice.'

The Times reports (subscription required) on comments by Lord Chief Justice Lord, Lord Thomas to the House of Lords Constitution Committee that there is 'obviously a really serious problem in relation to knives' and that a review of knife sentencing policy was 'urgently required. Watch the whole session with Lord Thomas here.

Writing for this site last week our Director Richard Garside pointed out that knife-related homicides in England and Wales have been declining for a number of years.