The Home Office has updated a number of factsheets relating to different provisions of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022. Included in the collection are the following:
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 aims to equip officers with powers to keep themselves safe. It introduces tougher sentencing for the worst offenders and ends automatic halfway release from prison for serious crimes. It also seeks to improve the efficiency of the court and tribunal system by modernising existing court processes.
Amongst its provisions, the Act:
Enshrines the Police Covenant in law, enabling special constables to join the Police Federation and introducing a new legal test that will compare a police driver to a peer with a similar level of training.
Introduces a serious violence duty on specified authorities to work together to prevent and reduce serious violence.
Places a duty on chief officers of police, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups or local health boards to undertake offensive weapons homicide reviews to learn the lessons from such deaths and help prevent future homicides.
Strengthens the law that governs digital information extraction through the introduction of new statutory powers and a code of practice.
Strengthens the police’s power to tackle disruptive protests and protect the public by increasing the range of conditions police can impose on public assemblies, increasing the sentences for obstructing a highway and introducing new conditions police can set based on the noise generated by protests.
Introduces a statutory offence of public nuisance, which will cover the same conduct as the existing common law offence.
Introduces a number of road traffic measures to ensure the courts have the powers they need to deal with dangerous and careless drivers, place on a statutory footing the fees charged under the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme, return to a statutory footing the legal basis to charge vehicle recovery, storage and disposal fees for vehicles illegally, dangerously or obstructively parked, broken down or abandoned, including after theft or road traffic collision, remove the legal requirement to surrender their driving license before a person can accept a fixed penalty notice and allow the police in Scotland to issue fixed penalty notices on the spot to people who commit certain minor road traffic offences.
Road traffic offences factsheet
The Act makes amendments to existing legislation in order to:
Increase the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years’ imprisonment to life imprisonment.
Increase the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years’ imprisonment to life imprisonment.
Create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving with a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment.
Protection of the police factsheet
The Act ensures that the police have access to support, protection and recognition they deserve by:
Introducing and enshrining in law a duty to prepare an annual Police Covenant Report with regard to the principle that members or former members of the police workforce should not be disadvantaged as a result of working in policing.
Doubling the maximum penalty for common assault or battery committed against an emergency worker from 12 months to two years’ imprisonment, ensuring that emergency workers have sufficient protection from the law to enable them to carry out their duties and the maximum penalty reflects the severity of the offence. Imposing mandatory life sentences for the unlawful act manslaughter of an emergency worker who is exercising their functions as such a worker, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Introducing a new test to assess the standard of driving of a police officer, to allow the courts to judge their standard of driving against a competent and careful police constable with the same level of training. Ensuring special constables have access to the same support and representation as regular constables through enabling them to join the Police Federation of England and Wales.
The Act amends the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 to double the maximum penalty for common assault or battery committed against an emergency worker who is acting in the exercise of their functions. This will increase the maximum penalty from 12 months to two years’ imprisonment.
The Act amends the Sentencing Code to impose mandatory life sentences on those who commit the unlawful act manslaughter of an emergency worker who is exercising their functions as such a worker, unless there are exceptional circumstances which justify not doing so.
This will ensure that those who are convicted of the unlawful act manslaughter of an emergency worker will receive a sentence that reflects the severity of this crime.
Provisions in the Act will introduce a new legal test that will compare a police driver to a peer with a similar level of training rather than a standard motorist.
Home Office May 2022
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