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Volume 611: debated on Tuesday 14 June 2016

Sentencing guidelines are issued by the independent Sentencing Council for England and Wales. I understand that it has plans to consider the stalking guidelines next year.

The Minister has read the report by my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Alex Chalk) and me on the case for extending the maximum sentences for stalking. He will also have heard Lily Allen say last week of her stalker, “You can put him behind bars but he’ll be out soon and waiting there for his victim.” What can be done to assess the case for extending the maximum sentence for a few very dangerous stalkers who severely damage the lives of their victims?

I thank my hon. Friend, who makes his point in a particularly lyrical way. He knows that we are looking at a range of issues around sentencing. It is important that those are considered in the round to make sure that we better protect the public and improve reoffending levels. I read the excellent report produced by my hon. Friends on sentences for stalking, and we are giving it very serious consideration.