PMH Legal

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill


The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in early July and awaits a second reading. The Bill is formed of thirteen parts, including provisions to:


Protection of the police

The Bill proposes-

-a new duty for a Police Covenant report to be put before Parliament each year;

-amending the offence of assaulting an emergency worker to increase the maximum penalty to 2 years (from 12 months);

-allowing Specials to join the Police Federation; and

-amending road traffic legislation so that trained police drivers are treated differently from regular drivers for the offences of dangerous driving and driving without due care and attention.


Prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime


A new legal duty would be introduced requiring certain agencies to work together to reduce serious violence and require community safety partnerships to consider this issue when formulating and implementing strategies to combat local crime and disorder.


Offensive weapon homicide reviews would be carried out by relevant agencies when the death of an adult involves the use of an offensive weapon.


The Bill would introduce a new statutory framework for the extraction of electronic information from electronic devices. This would relate to the extraction of information for certain purposes in an investigation.


Other provisions proposed under this heading relate to pre-charge bail, sexual offences, criminal damage to memorials, overseas production orders, search warrants, functions of prisoner custody officers, and account freezing in proceeds of crime cases.



One of the most controversial chapters in the Bill is in relation to proposed changes in the way that protests are policed. This includes amending:


Unauthorised encampments


A new offence is suggested of “residing or intending to reside on land without consent in or with a vehicle”. Existing police powers would also be amended to lower the threshold at which the powers in the 1994 Act could be used and allow the police to remove unauthorised encampments.


Road Traffic measures


The Bill sets out several measures, including:


Out of court disposals


All out of court disposals would be replaced with a choice of two, diversionary cautions or community cautions (with a provision that conditions could be attached to the cautions).


Custodial sentences


The provisions of this chapter would:


Community sentences


The Bill would:


Youth justice


Changes include:


Other changes put forward in the Bill include the introduction of serious violence reduction orders, changes to the management of sex offenders and terrorist offenders, and permitting the presence of a BSL interpreter in the jury room.



How can we help?


We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact Peter Haney on 01244722776