Burglars should face tougher penalties

Damian Green, the Justice minister has said that burglars should face tougher sentences in cases where children might have been traumatised by a break-in.

Enhanced sentences can already be handed down by judges, where children have been at home when a burglary occurred, due to the aggravating factor.  Judges are to be encouraged to make use of the ‘victims code’, which allows victims of crime to make statements to the court, setting out how they have been affected by the offence.

Ministers are keen to use the code more widely in the criminal justice system, to ensure that the impact of burglaries are taken into account when sentences are handed down.  Full use of the code, could see longer sentences, or ensure that burglars avoid community punishments.

Nearly 300,000 childern are the victims of burglaries every year and last month, Victims Support, a charity that assists crime victims after an offence, called upon judges to set harsher punishments, if a child lived in the premises.  A poll conducted on behalf of the charity, suggested that two out of five parents said their children required emotional or psychological support after a burglary at home.  A quarter of those questions said that their children had difficulty sleeping following a burglary and 10% said it had affected their performance at school.

 

 

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