Burnley MP backs Bill to crack down on anti-social behaviour
Burnley's MP gave his backing in a House of Commons debate on a Bill to crack down on anti-social behaviour.
Speaking in the Report Stage of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill local MP Antony Higginbotham reiterated his commitment to support legislation to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour by giving the police more powers and introducing tougher sentences for the worst offenders.
Speaking in the debate he said: “One thing I hear all the time, from not just residents, but the police, is frustration with the sentencing system, because people want a system that puts victims and communities first.
"They want to see a criminal justice system that works for the law-abiding majority. It continues to concern me and local residents that some of the most violent offenders have been serving only half their sentence, so I strongly welcome Clauses 105, 106 and 107, which will result in some of the worst offenders staying in prison for longer—violent offenders and child sex offenders."
The new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will see the end of automatic release for the most dangerous offenders at the half way point of their sentence; a new life sentence for killer drivers; increased prison time for assaulting emergency service workers; and an extension of the positions of trust laws to protect teenagers from sexual abuse.
Tackling illegal traveller camps will also become easier, with a new criminal trespass offence created to give the police more powers.
Speaking after the debate Mr Higginbotham said: “Whilst it was disappointing to see opposition MPs vote against this legislation, I know that residents across Burnley and Padiham rightly expect our streets to be safe and violent criminals to be locked up, because the first priority of any government is protecting the public.
"This is exactly what I promised would be delivered when I was elected and what this new piece of legislation is all about.”
"This legislation is not the end though, and as I said in the debate there remains work to do to further strengthen sentences and ensure we are protecting victims and successfully prosecuting perpetrators."
The Bill will now move to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.