Is the worm turning in terms of sentencing guidelines, specifically in relation to burglary?
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has ordered courts to dish out more prison sentences for burglars, particularly those who transgress new guidelines.
His Judgeship has said that courts should recognise the serious consequences on victims who suffer intrusion in their homes no matter how little is stolen as the home should be “our safest refuge“. He said “The principle which must be grasped is that when we speak of dwelling house burglary we are considering not only an offence against property, which it is, but also, and often more alarmingly and distressingly, an offence against the person.”
In 2007, of the 25,547 burglars sentenced by courts, only 9,237 received a prison sentence & one in six received just a caution.
Of course we’ve heard all this before but we’ve never really see anyone doing anything about it. It will be interesting to see if the courts take any notice. They’ve been told that if any of the following factors are present in a burglary offence then a prison sentence should be expected.
- Force used on, or threatened against the victim
- Trauma to the victim beyond the normal consequences of intrusion and theft
- Premeditation, professional planning and organisation
- Vandalism of the premises
- Deliberate targeting of any vulnerable victim
- The presence of the occupier at home
- Theft of, or damage to property of high economic or sentimental value
So there we have it.