§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans Her Majesty's Government have to introduce a programme to reduce the incidence of sexual offences.
§ Mr. John Patten
The Criminal Justice Bill strengthens the courts' powers to protect the public from sexual offenders. Courts will be able to impose a custodial sentence, or a longer one than is justified by the seriousness of the offence, upon a sexual offender who poses a risk of serious harm to the public. They will also be able to order longer and more intensive supervision for sex offenders 579W following their release from custody or when they are sentenced to probation. On 7 June we announced our plans to introduce structured treatment for sex offenders in prison.