New Sentencing Guidelines (‘the New Guidelines’), which come into effect on 1st January 2020, have been issued covering adults convicted of Public Order Offences.

John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the changes.

Background | Kangs Sentencing Advisory Team

In August 2008, the Sentencing Guidelines Council published Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines in respect of such offences to the extent that they could be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Courts such as affray, threatening and disorderly behaviour and violent disorder

but the Guidelines did not cover sentencing these offences when they fell to be dealt with in the Crown Court.

Additionally, there was no guidance on sentencing the public order offences of riot, or offences relating to inciting racial or religious hatred/hatred based on sexual orientation.

Against the background of nearly nineteen thousand convictions forpublic order offences covered by the Guideline in 2018, only thirty offenders have been sentenced for riot in the last ten years, around three hundred offenders are sentenced for violent disorder each year, and two thousand four hundred for affray with the remaining convictions comprising lesser offences.

The New Guidelines | Kangs Criminal Defence Team

The proposals and potential effects include: 

  • riot, violent disorder and affray sentence length will not be affected.
  • threatening behaviour and disorderly behaviour with intent reductions to sentencing ranges and starting points for the different levels of offence seriousness.  
  • sentencing severity may result in offenders who may currently be facing suspended prison sentences, receiving community orders.
  • racially or religiously aggravated threatening behaviour and racially or religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour with intent – the Court is required to increase the sentence according to the level of racial or religious aggravation involved.
  • disorderly behaviour and racially or religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour – the maximum sentence is a fine and therefore the New Guidelines will not have an impact on prison and probation resources.
  • disorderly behaviour – a new higher category of offending with a higher level of fine is introduced.

How Can We Assist? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

The team at Kangs Solicitors has years of experience dealing with all aspects and levels of criminal defence.

If you are subject to a criminal investigation or prosecution, it is essential that you instruct an experienced criminal defence solicitor soon as possible. 

We can support you through every stage of the criminal process so please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following.

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
hholder@kanngssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 0161 817 5020

Suki Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521210

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888