The Sentencing Council has launched a public consultation on proposals to introduce new guidelines for sentencing on all burglary offences.

It takes a fresh approach to non-domestic burglary, asking judges to look at the harm to the victims beyond the economic implications and recommends a custodial sentence of up to four years.

The Council's proposals also recommend that aggravated burglaries (where the offender has a weapon) should be treated more seriously, and that sentences for this offence be custodial with up to 13 years in prison.

Sentencing Council chairman Lord Justice Leveson said that the proposed guidelines were designed to take into account the impact on burglary victims.

"Burglary can have a very serious impact on victims it is very far from being only a crime against property," he said. "As a result we have ensured that the impact on victims is at the centre of considerations about what sentence should be passed."

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