The Sentencing Council has published draft proposals for how robbers should be sentenced by courts.
Covering commercial, street and domestic robberies, the new guidelines aim to create consistent and proportionate sentences for the offence.
The Sentencing Council wants to ensure that all forms of robbery are covered as the current guidelines don’t cover professionally planned commercial robberies or robbery in people’s homes.
The guidelines propose that when a knife or gun is used or a robber threatens its use, the longest sentences should be given to offenders, as under existing guidelines the use of a weapon does not automatically mean offenders are put in the top category of seriousness. It also plans to increase the focus on the effect on victims to emphasise psychological as well as physical harm.
The proposed guidelines are subject to consultation with the Sentencing Council eager to hear from all interested parties.
Chairman of the Sentencing Council Lord Justice Treacy said: “Robberies can leave victims badly injured or traumatised as well as losing property, so we are ensuring that the full impact of these offences is at the forefront of judges’ considerations about the length of sentence a robber should get.
“Our proposals will give judges comprehensive guidance to help them sentence the great range of offenders who come before them, from a street mugger to gang members responsible for a major heist.”
The consultation is open until 23 January 2015 and submissions can be made at www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk.