A ‘Deaths in custody’ corporate manslaughter crime has been created so that Police and other authorities can now be prosecuted over deaths in custody in England, Scotland and Wales.
BBC News highlights that the new legislation of The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act, which has now come into effect means police forces, the MoD, UK Border Agency and private firms managing people held in custody can be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter. Corporations can already be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter or for the equivalent offence (corporate homicide) in Scotland. The extension of these offences to public bodies involved in detention means they could be prosecuted if they failed to ensure the safety of someone in their care. Examples could include deaths during an immigration removal or when someone has been restrained using an unauthorised or badly taught body hold.
The law does not cover incidents abroad, such as where someone dies in the custody of British forces. However, British nationals can be convicted of causing a death through gross negligence, even if the fatality occurred overseas. The provisions are not retrospective, meaning the law could not apply to cases such as Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan man who died during his deportation in October 2010.
Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act of 2006, priosoners were included as ‘vulnerable adults’. However the Protection of Freedoms Bill will remove this status when it becomes law.
Continue reading ‘Death in Custody’ crime created
Policing Minister Nick Herbert has indicated that details of sentences handed down to criminals could be published online in future, making public access to sentencing records much easier.
He said he hoped to build on the success of the new crime-mapping website which shows how many offences have been committed in particular streets: “This website is a strong example of this government’s commitment to greater transparency in public services, giving communities the information they need to hold their local police to account.” Continue reading Public access to Sentencing Records
Barnardo’s has published a report highlighting that children as young as 13 are being released from custody into unsafe or unsuitable accommodation, which can lead to a cycle of homelessness and reoffending. The research found that supported accommodation could provide savings of more than £67,000 per child over a three year period. Continue reading Children leaving custody at risk
The Government response to the Supreme Court ruling about the human rights of sex offenders is to make the minimum possible changes to the law in order to comply with the ruling. These are summarised below. Continue reading Changes to Sex Offenders Register
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that lifelong monitoring on the UK’s sex offenders register is a disproportionate interference in the offender’s family lives and have granted two convicted sex offenders the right to challenge their inclusion on it. The case paves the way for other offenders to seek to have their details removed.
Offenders are placed on the register for life if they are sentenced to 30 months or more in jail, and once released have to notify police about where they are living and what name they are using. There are some 32,000 registered sex offenders in England and Wales and approximately half of them received sentences leading to lifelong monitoring. Continue reading Sex offenders register challenged
The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (Crae) has applied for a judicial review of the refusal by the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, to identify and contact children who may have been unlawfully restrained in privately run secure training centres.
Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, all prison and probation officers would have been checked and monitored for their ongoing suitablity for the role as prisoners and people on probation would have been considered as being ‘vulnerable adults’. It remains to be clarified whether this promised level of protection will be compromised under the halving of the numbers defined as doing ‘regulated activity’ under the Protection of Freedoms Bill. Continue reading Judicial review of unlawful child restraint