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Burglary: Sentencing

Volume 626: debated on Thursday 29 June 2017

10. What recent assessment he has made of the extent to which sentencing of people convicted of burglary has been unduly lenient. (900103)

Last year the Attorney General and I referred 11 cases for burglary as unduly lenient and achieved an increase in sentence in seven of those. Only the most serious types of burglary offence currently fall within the unduly lenient scheme, but we have recommitted in our manifesto to extend its scope and we will work with my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor to implement that commitment.

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that answer and for the welcome news. Only 10% of first-time burglars receive immediate custodial sentences. Does that not encourage them to carry on their crimes? Burglary is quite a serious crime; will he have a look at that statistic?

My hon. Friend is right to say that burglary is a serious crime. It is a crime against the person, not just against property, because it affects people’s wellbeing. I am glad to tell him that since the introduction of the revised Sentencing Council guidelines on burglary in 2012, the overall level of sentencing for burglary, in terms of prison and length of sentence, has increased. That should give his constituents some encouragement that the courts are handing out the appropriate punishment for this serious crime.

Order. Before we come to business questions, it might be helpful to the House if I announce my selection of amendments to be potentially voted on much later today. I have selected the amendment tabled by the official Opposition—amendment (l), if memory serves, in the name of the right hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell).

As colleagues will be intimately conscious, being fully familiar with all these matters, I have a right to select up to two further amendments under the terms of our Standing Orders. I can advise the House that I have selected amendment (d) in the name of the hon. Member for Walthamstow (Stella Creasy) and others, and amendment (g) in the name of the hon. Member for Streatham (Chuka Umunna) and others. I hope that that is helpful to the House.