Terrorists face harsher sentences if they commit crimes behind bars

Terrorists face harsher sentences if they commit crimes behind bars

Barbed wire swirls above a prison fence

Terrorist offenders will have all offenses committed in prison referred to police within a week (Picture: Getty)

Jailed terrorists who commit new offenses while locked up will face stiffer sentences, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has announced.

Under the old system, crimes committed in prison, such as vandalism of cells or trafficking in contraband, were usually dealt with by prison directors.

This would lead to a maximum sentence of an additional 42 days behind bars.

But under the new plan, all offenses committed in prison by terrorists will be referred to the police within a week for investigation, even if they are relatively minor.

They will then potentially face prosecution and much longer sentences.

Mr Raab said this change will protect communities from those who do not want to change their ways.

“Terrorist offenders pose a serious risk to public safety and they must face all the consequences of their actions, whether on the streets or behind bars,” he said.

“This significant change means that any transgression will come with the prospect of a much longer prison sentence and will keep our communities safer, longer, from those unwilling to change their ways.”

The move comes following a review of terrorist activity in prisons across England and Wales by the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, Jonathan Hall KC.

In his report, Mr Hall said public confidence in the criminal justice system is undermined if people enter prison only to become more dangerous.

“Prisons must not be allowed to become a second chance for committed terrorists whose plans of attack are thwarted in the community,” he said.

“More fundamentally, public confidence in the criminal justice system is undermined if terrorism occurs in prison or if people enter prison only to (become) more dangerous: and the ability of prisons to function is severely degraded if prison officers fear an imminent terrorist attack.”

Counter Terrorism Police Chief Matt Jukes said: “Our primary mission at Counter Terrorism Police is to protect the public and our communities from the persistent and evolving threat of terrorism.

“This agreement demonstrates that our efforts to mitigate this threat and protect our national security are significant and rely on working with our partners.”

Gregor McGill of the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘When a crime is committed in prison there are serious consequences.

“Today’s updated agreement continues to ensure that police, prisons and the CPS work together to investigate and prosecute prisoners who commit acts of terrorism or serious violence, wherever our legal test is met. .

“Those who commit crimes while serving their sentence risk new charges and longer sentences.”

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