Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk’s campaign to increase the maximum sentence for terror offences and address online radicalisation has become law. The Cheltenham MP has repeatedly called for a toughening of “toothless sentencing” for terrorist acts. The Government included the measures as a key part of the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill.
The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill passed its third reading in Parliament on 11 September. It included Alex Chalk’s calls to increase the maximum prison sentence for repeated viewing of terrorist material online from 10 to 15 years. The Bill increases sentencing for a number of other terrorism-related offences and strengthens police powers to prevent and investigate terrorism.
Alex Chalk has regularly raised the issue in Parliament. He commented:
“I’m delighted that the Parliament has backed my campaign to increase maximum sentences for online offences. The terror war is increasingly being fought online. It is raging across the internet through social media platforms. We must have 21st Century legislation to combat the threat it poses.
“Our legislation and our courts need to reflect the seriousness of these offences and have the powers to ensure perpetrators are behind bars for a proper period.
Mr Chalk explained: “Online jihadist propaganda gets more clicks in the UK than any other European country. Only Iraq, Turkey, the USA and Saudi Arabia attract more hits. ISIS produces more than 100 new articles, videos and newspapers every week.
“The Courts and the police are being given the powers to send a strong message; anyone deliberately encouraging “home-grown” terror attacks in the UK will be met with a tough sentence.”
“The publication of information about our police, intelligence and armed forces for terror purposes will also be liable to the 15year maximum. Our security forces face tremendous pressures in the fight against terror. It’s absolutely right that we do everything we can to support and protect them.”