Today, Lucy spoke in support of the Government's plan to introduce further legislation to protect the public from serious sexual and violent criminals. A key part of the legislation, which will be proposed in the coming months, will keep offenders who pose a risk to the public off the streets for longer by ending eligibility for automatic early release.
In Telford, the early release of one of the ringleaders of a high profile child sex grooming gang caused real trauma to his victims and widespread concern that these horrendous crimes against young girls in our community were not being taken seriously by the justice system. He was released in 2017 without input from a Parole Board, having served less than half of his custodial sentence. He was then returned to prison in 2018 having breached his license conditions and will now remain in prison until 2032.
Lucy has long campaigned for stricter sentencing for the perpetrators of serious crimes, having previously raised her concerns with the Justice Minister and former Prime Minister. In October 2019, she welcomed the scrapping of automatic halfway release as a first step towards a more robust justice system that ensures that criminals serve more of their sentences in prison.
The Government is acting to prevent fewer of these serious criminals leaving prison without being assessed as safe by Parole Board experts and restore public confidence that robust sentences are executed in a way that better reflects the gravity of the crimes committed.
Lucy Allan MP said:
"The Lord Chancellor is to be congratulated for bringing forward this excellent White Paper.
The measures contained within it will be widely welcome in my constituency, and I believe are long overdue.
Does my Rt. Hon and learned Friend agree that the additional measures to end automatic early release for serious offenders will protect communities like Telford, where we have experienced the fear and sense of injustice of early release of the perpetrators of Child Sexual Exploitation?"
Rt. Hon Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC MP said:
"I pay tribute to my Hon. Friend for her tireless campaigning on the issue that has affected her community and the lives of people she represents, and she is right to remind us of the purpose of this.
We are seeking to protect the public. We are seeking to achieve a higher level of confidence that, when a prison sentence is passed, yes, there is a period on license where the individual needs to readjust with the appropriate control. But there has to be a clear signal that the bulk of their term will be served behind bars.
That is what the public expect, that is what will increase confidence in the system, and that is what we are doing."