More families of terror victims to be given greater powers to challenge ‘soft’ sentences, under new plans.
For the first time, members of the public will be able to ask for a review on lenient sentences for terror crimes such as belonging to a banned organisation and sharing propaganda, according to The Daily Mail.
It is hoped that tougher sentences on these less serious terror offences, could ensure suspects do not go on to commit more serious crimes,
Currently, the Unduly Lenient Sentences scheme allows anyone to challenge certain serious offences, including the most serious terror crimes, murder and rape.
Members of the public can ask the Attorney General to examine sentences which they believe to be too lenient.
The cases are then reviewed and sent to the Court of Appeal, which will determine whether the sentences should be increased, or left as they are.
Lower grade terror offences are currently excluded from the scheme, but as of August 8, 19 offences under anti-terror legislation will be added.
Campaigners began calling for the scheme to be extended when cleric Anjem Choudary was jailed for just five-and-a-half years for inviting support for ISIS.
This year, multiple terror attacks in London and Manchester have devastated the country.
Yesterday the family of Elaine McIver, the 43-year-old off-duty police officer who was killed in the Manchester bomb attack, called for terror suspect to be kept off the streets.
Lynda, 49, Ms McIver’s sister, stressed how Salman Abedi had been known to the authorities and added: ‘I would like to see changes so that we have more resources and more powers to ensure any suspects… are not allowed back on to our streets to wreak havoc and devastation.’
Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: ‘We want the most robust sentences for any terrorist crimes and for victims to have every opportunity to see justice delivered.
‘Our action will reinforce our focus on deterring people who help radicalise terrorists, and punishing those who wilfully turn a blind eye to terrorist activities.’
In 2015, the Attorney General’s office referred 136 cases to the Court of Appeal, which resulted in 102 offenders having their sentences increased.