Rishi’s law and order offensive
But will the PM’s crackdown be hit by tents row for homeless?
GREATER numbers of dangerous criminals will be forced to take lie detector tests as part of a blitz of law and order measures.
the crackdown outlined in the King’s Speech yesterday includes bans on the sale of car key jammers, 3D gun parts and devices used to send scam texts.
and chief constables will be given powers to weed out rogue officers by challenging misconduct panel verdicts.
the measures will be introduced in five separate laws over the coming year.
But in an early setback last night the Criminal Justice Bill was delayed because of a Cabinet row over a proposed crackdown on rough sleepers.
Draft legislation was due to be pub
lished today but several ministers objected to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s plan to fine charities who give tents to homeless people.
She has said that, for some, sleeping on the streets was a ‘lifestyle choice’. the row will now need to be ironed out before the Bill can be laid.
rishi Sunak said: ‘For too long, the justice system has been too lenient and left victims feeling hollow, even when perpetrators are caught.
‘So with this King’s Speech, we’re going further to protect victims and keep people safe.’
the main measures in the Sentencing Bill will see judges forced to give whole life orders in the worst cases of murder and ensure rapists serve every day of their sentences behind bars.
But other criminals will be spared jail on the ‘presumption’ that those given fewer than 12 months receive suspended sentences. even those serving more than four years will be freed six months early with electronic tags.
the Criminal Justice Bill will force defendants to attend sentencing hearings, outlaw the sharing of ‘ intimate images’ and expand drug testing on arrest. It will also ‘give probation officers more powers to use polygraph tests on serious terrorist or sexual offenders to better manage their risk’, official papers said.
Ministry of Justice sources said this would close loopholes by adding lie detector tests as a licence condition for more offences.
It will cover murderers who have committed sexual offences, such as the notorious double child killer and rapist Colin Pitchfork.
the same law will mean police officers can be dismissed for bad behaviour even if disciplinary panels impose lesser reprimands – by ‘giving chief officers of police forces the right to appeal ... to the Police appeals tribunal’.
Police will also get the ‘new power to enter a premises without a warrant to seize stolen goods, such as phones, based off gPS location tracking technology’.
Former Cabinet minister David Davis criticised the idea, saying: ‘the right not to have the state kick your door down and come and search your house without judicial approval is a massively important British value.’ Police will gain ‘greater access to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing agency database to identify criminals’, which could mean they are able to compare motorists’ photos with images of suspects found in CCtV footage.
the Investigatory Powers (amendment) Bill will help the security services keep up with technology, including by making
tech firms say when they upgrade security features. The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will force venues to take measures to reduce the risk of an attack.
And the Victims and Prisoners Bill will let ministers intervene in more cases to stop a ‘top tier’ of murderers, rapists or terrorists being paroled. Pia Sinha, of the Prison Reform Trust, said: ‘A presumption to suspend short sentences of less than 12 months should mean fewer individuals spend wasteful short spells behind bars.
‘To be successful, investment in probation and effective community interventions will be vital.’