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Sentencing Review must deliver a consistent policy

12 June, 2006


Sinn Féin Policing and Justice Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly commenting on the review of sentencing for violent and sex crimes announced by British direct rule ministers has said that we need to see a sentencing policy that is consistent, proportionate and effectively protects local communities.

Mr Kelly said:

"It is clear that there is a problem with sentencing here. Not a week goes by without there being poor judicial decisions.

"Crimes against women, car crime and crime perpetuated by Loyalists all stand out as areas where there is no consistency.

"The result is that the criminal justice system sends out a very negative message and is itself part of the problem in tackling crime within our society.

"We need to see a sentencing policy that is consistent, proportionate and effectively protects local communities.

"There are significant deficiencies in the criminal justice system in the north of Ireland in relation to the prevention and punishment of sex crimes, support for the victims of such crimes and the treatment and supervision of sex offenders after imprisonment." ENDS

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