§ Mr. Squire
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the sexual offences, distinguishing between those committed by men and women, for which the Government propose longer custodial sentences; and what is his policy in respect of imposing longer custodial sentences for non-violent sex offences.
§ Mr. John Patten
The Government's policy, as set out in paragraph 3.13 of the White Paper "Crime Punishment and Protecting the Public" (Cm. 965 February 1990), is that the Crown court should have the power to give a sentence longer than that justified by the seriousness of the offence but within the maximum prescribed for that offence to a persistent and violent offender, if this is necessary to protect the public from serious harm.
Clause 25(1) of the Criminal Justice Bill defines the sexual offences for which it is proposed that this power should be available. Excluding offences triable only on indictment, which are not subject to the provisions of clause 3 regarding the length of sentence which may he imposed, the offences covered by clause 25(1) are as follows:
- (1) Intercourse with a girl under 16 (section 6)
- (2) Indecency between men (section 13)
- (3) Indecent assault on a woman (section 14)
- (4) Indecent assault on a man (section 15)
- (5) Permitting a girl under 16 to use premises for intercourse (section 26)
- (6) Solicitation by a man (section 32)
Indecency with Children Act 1960
- (7) Indecent conduct towards young children (section 1)
Sexual Offences Act 1967
- (8) Procuring others to commit homosexual acts (section 4)
- (9) Living on the earnings of a male prostitute (section 5)
Criminal Law Act 1977
- (10) Inciting a girl under 16 to have incestuous sexual intercourse (section 54)
Protection of Children Act 1978
- (11) Offences concerning indecent photographs of children (section 1)
The offences under sections 6, 13 and 32 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, under section 4 of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 and under section 54 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 may be committed only by a man; the remaining offences may be committed by a person of either sex.