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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 18, 2009: Queen's Speech: On Crime

The Queen has outlined the Government's priorities for the coming Parliamentary year in the Queen’s Speech following the official state opening of Parliament. While economic recovery was highlighted as a key government priority, other Bills are aimed at crime, including the Briber Bill and the Crime and Security Bill, both of which are outlined in detail below.

The Queen stated that:

“A Bill will be introduced to strengthen the law against bribery.”

The UK is recognised as one of the least corrupt countries globally - 16th in the world and 3rd of G8 countries according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. Nevertheless, the government argues that it is unwise to be complacent, and there is a need for a modern and effective law against bribery to help reinforce integrity in the business and public sectors.

Jack Straw is the Government’s Anti-Corruption Champion. He will lead this work and to develop a comprehensive UK strategy for tackling foreign bribery, which will strengthen our work with international partners, establishing a clear legal and policy framework.

General reform of the bribery laws was first proposed in a Law Commission report in 1998. This led to a draft Government Bill in 2003 that failed to win broad support in pre-legislative scrutiny. A Government draft Bill informed by a further review by the Law Commission was published in March 2009 and was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Committee of both Houses between May and July.

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Provide a modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences to equip prosecutors and courts to deal effectively with bribery at home and abroad.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • To provide a new, modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences that will enable courts and prosecutors to respond more effectively to bribery at home or abroad.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • To replace our old and fragmented legislation with a modern and consolidated bribery law, based on the recommendations of the Law Commission.
  • The offences would cover the offering, promising or giving of a bribe and the requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a bribe either at home or abroad, in the public or private sectors.
  • The Bill would create a discrete offence of bribery of a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain business.
  • The Bill would create a new offence in relation to commercial organisations which fail to prevent a bribe being paid by those who perform services for or on behalf of the organisation. It will be a defence if the organisation has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.

The Bill would support business by ensuring that everyone is clear about their responsibilities to do business in an open and honest way, on a level playing field.

The Queen also stated that:

  • “My Government will legislate to protect communities by ensuring that parents take responsibility for their children’s antisocial behaviour and by tackling youth gang crime.”

The purpose of the Crime and Security Bill is to protect communities by making parents take responsibility for their child’s anti-social behaviour. The Bill would also introduce new powers to help victims break the cycle of domestic violence. The main benefits of the Bill are argued to be:

  • Making our streets safer
  • Preventing crimes against the vulnerable
  • Shutting down criminal and exploitative markets
  • Getting justice for victims and their families

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Making families take responsibility for children’s anti-social behaviour by introducing a mandatory assessment of parenting needs whenever a 10 to 15-year-old is being considered for an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order), and imposing parenting orders where the young person has breached their ASBO.
  • Enabling police to spend more time tackling crime in our communities by reducing the amount of information being recorded on lengthy stop and search forms.
  • Tackling domestic violence with ‘Go orders’ to allow police to bar a suspected perpetrator from their homes for a fixed period of time even if they are not charged, empowering victims to feel safe in their own homes rather than seeking refuge elsewhere.
  • Preventing tragic accidents involving airguns by ensuring these dangerous weapons are safely stored and out of the reach of children, by introducing a legal requirement to do so.
  • Introducing an additional criminal offence under the Prison Act 1952 for the possession of a mobile phone device (component part, or article designed or adapted for use with a mobile phone device), within a prison without authorisation.
  • Introducing a compulsory licensing scheme for all wheel clamping businesses, limiting the size of penalties imposed, regulating towing practices and putting in place an effective and fair appeals process.
  • Ensuring the right people are on our DNA database by indefinitely retaining the DNA records of convicted offenders and holding the DNA of adults who are arrested, but not charged, for six years.
  • Protecting the public by allowing police to take DNA samples and fingerprints at any time post conviction for a serious crime, and to take them from serious violent and sexual offenders returning to the UK following conviction overseas.