Alex Chalk MP has called for a toughening of the sentencing for terrorist acts. The Cheltenham MP was speaking in Parliament (22nd June 2017) during a debate on terrorist attacks in the UK.
Mr Chalk asked the Home Secretary:
“At present, a person who pleads guilty to possessing a well-known extremist publication, which includes instructions for making home-made bombs, will typically be sentenced to just 14 months. So they will be out in seven months, and will still be radicalised and be a danger. Does the Home Secretary agree that the time has come to toughen up sentences under sections 57 and 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000?”
Mr Chalk explained:
“Nearly 40% of those charged under terrorism offences are prosecuted under sections 57 and 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This allows a maximum sentence of 15 and 10 years respectively. But the average sentence being handed down is just 14 months, with many convicted prisoners likely to serve no more than 7 months.
“We have the tools we need in the form of extensive counter-terrorism legislation. But they need to be used more effectively to protect the public.”
Responding to Mr Chalk, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP agreed that the Government “must look at tougher sentencing”. She confirmed that a Government commissioned independent review of terrorism laws, led by Max Hill QC “does see the need for a review of sentences, so we will certainly look at whether we can have tougher sentences.”