Latest News

EU Drugs Market – Europol Suggests a More Robust Response Needed

The EU retail drug market is estimated to be worth more than EUR 30 billion annually, making it a major source of income for organised crime. Europe occupies a central position in drug supply and trafficking, as evidenced by the large-scale production of cannabis and synthetic drugs within the EU...

11 March 2024
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Delivering Justice on a Budget

The Spring Budget was delivered by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on 6 March 2024. It offered little by way of comfort so far as the criminal justice system is concerned. Although overall departmental spending is said to rise by 1%, this is not evenly spread, with protected spending (such as...

7 March 2024
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Monkey Business

Measures have been signed into law this week to ban the keeping of primates as pets. The new regulations bring in a licensing scheme setting strict rules to ensure that only private keepers who meet new welfare and licensing standards will be able to keep primates, delivering on a government...

6 March 2024
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Knife crime – some interesting statistics!

The latest government statistics provide the following interesting insights into the continuing prevalence of knife crime in England and Wales: The year-end figure for all knife offences shows a 2% decrease in offending, although this still represents an increase of 17% compared to a decade earlier. ‘Possession of an article...

21 February 2024
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Should you represent yourself in a criminal court?

People often ask this question because they know they are not eligible for legal aid or they may think they are not eligible, although they may not have checked this with a solicitor. A recent study by Dr Charlotte Walker of York St John University revealed the following: "In this...

21 February 2024
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Government exploring tougher crossbow rules

Under current legislation, it is illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase or possess a crossbow. In addition, anyone who carries a crossbow in public without reasonable excuse faces up to four years behind bars. The government is considering going further and is to review evidence of whether the current...

19 February 2024
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New offence of cyber-flashing

Last week Nicholas Hawkes become the first person to be convicted for the new offence of "Cyber Flashing". Hawkes sent unsolicited photos of his erect penis to a 15-year-old girl and a woman. The woman took screenshots of the image on WhatsApp and reported Hawkes to Essex Police the same...

19 February 2024
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Blackmail, Kidnap and False Imprisonment – new sentencing proposals

The Sentencing Council has published draft guidelines for sentencing offenders convicted of blackmail, kidnap or false imprisonment.  Under the proposals judges will have dedicated guidelines to follow when sentencing these offences, for the first time. The new guidelines will ensure that the courts are able to take a more consistent...

7 February 2024
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New offence of encouraging or assisting serious self-harm

The Online Safety Act 2023 creates a new offence of encouraging or assisting serious self-harm. The offence applies from 31 January 2024.    What is the new offence? A person will commit an offence if:   “they do a relevant act capable of encouraging or assisting the serious self-harm of another...

22 January 2024
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Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (‘SHPO’) & Polygraph tests

Since 29th November 2022 a court can impose a positive requirement on a defendant under an SHPO (section 175 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022).   This, says the government, includes a requirement to participate in Polygraph (lie-detector) tests.   In a recent case the Court of Appeal rejected...

22 January 2024
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